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^ OF 

SPORTS AND PASTIMES 

EDITED BY 

MIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BEAUFORT. K.G. 
ASSISTED BY ALFRED E. T. WATSON 



^ V. \to 1 



THE 

POETRY OF SPORT 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY. 

28 Volumes. Crown 8vo. los. 6d. each Volume. 



ARCHERY. By C. J. Longman, Col. 
H. Walrond, &c. 195 Illustrations 
and a Maps. 

.\THLET1CS AND FOOTBALL. By 
Montague Shkarman. 51 Illustra- 
tions. 

BIG GAME SHOOTING. By C. 

Phillipps-Wolley, &c. 
Vol. L— Africa and Amkkjca. 

Illustrations. 
Vol. II. —Europe, Asia, and thk 

Arctic Regions. 73 Illustrations. 

BILLIARDS. By Major W. Broad- 
foot, R. F^. 29 Illustration^ and 
numerous Diagrams. 

BOATING. By W. B. W.k)dgate. 4V 
Illustrations. 

COURSING AND FALCONRY. By 
Harding Cox and the Hon. Gt:KAi.i> 
Lascei-lks. 76 Illustrations. 

CRICKET. By A. C. Sikkl ;ind the 
Hon. R. H. Lyttklton. 64 Illustra- 
tions. 



CYCLING. By 
marle and G, 
Ulustration.s. 

D.ANCING. By 
F.R.G.S.,&c. 



77 



the Earl of .A l he- 
Lacy Hii.LiKk. 59 

Mrs. Lilly Grove, 
131 Illustrations. 



DRIVING. By the Duke of Beaufort. 
65 Illustrations. 

FENC1N(;, BOXING, AND WREST- 
LING. By Waltkr H. Pollock. 
F. C. Grove, C. Prevost, &c. 42 
Illustrations. 

FISHING. By H. Cholmondkley- 
Pknnell. 

Vol. L— Salmon, Trout, and Gray- 
ling. 158 Illustrations. 

Vol. II.— PiKKand other Coarse Fish. 
132 Illustrations. 

GOLF. By Horace Hutchinson, the 
Right Hon. A. /. Balfour, M.P., 
&c. 89 Illustrations. 



HUNTING. ^ By the Duke of Beau- 
fort, K.G., and Mowbray Morris. 
53 Illustrations. 

MOUNTAINEERING. ByC.T.DKNT. 
Sir W. M. Conway, &c. 108 Illus- 
trations. 

POETRY (THE) OF SPORT. Edited 
by Hedley Peek. 106 Illustrations. 

RACING AND STEEPLE- 
CHASING. By the Earl of Suffolk 
and Berkshire, W. G. Craven, &c. 
.58 Illustration*. 

RIDING AND POLO. By Robert 
Weir, J. Moray Brown, &c. 59 
Illustrations. 

SEA-FISHING. By J»,hn Bicker- 
dyke. W. Senior. Sir H. W. Gore 
Booth, Bart., and A. C. Harms- 
worth. 197 Illustrations. 

SHOOTING. By Lord Walsingham 
and Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey, 
Bart. 

Vol. l. -Field and Covert. 105 
Illustrations. 

Vol. IL— Moor and Marsh. 65 Illus- 
trations. 

SKATING. CURLING, TOBOGGAN- 
ING, &c. By T. M. Heathcote, 
C. G. Tebbutt, &c. 284 Illustrations. 

SWIMMING. By Archibald Sinclair 
and William Henry. 119 Illustra- 
tions. 

TENNIS, LAWN TENNIS. 
RACKETS, AND FIVES. By 
J. M. and C. G. Heathcote, &c. 
79 Illustrations. 

YACHTING. By Urd Brassev, the 
Flarl of Onslow, &c. 
Vol. L— Cruising, Construction, 
Racing Rules, &c. 114 Illustra- 
tions. 

Vol. I L— Yachting in America and 
THE Colonies, Racing, &c. 195 
Illustrations. 



LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO. 

London and Bombay. 



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"A Hunting Poet." 



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THE 



Poetry of Sport 



SELECTED AND EDITED BY 

HEDLEY PEEK 

WITH A CHAPTER ON CLASSICAL ALLUSIONS TO SPORT 

BY ANDREW LANG, AND A SPECIAL PREFACE TO 

THE BADMINTON LIBRARY BY A. E. T.WATSON 




ILLUSTRATED BY 

A. THORBURN, LUCIEN DAVIS, C. E. BROCK' 

AND OTHERS 



LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 

LONDON AND BOMBAY 
1896 



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All rights Reserved ^ 



T H r. N r. W y O R K 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

51 845 

**T0», LENOX AMO 
T'»»iN ■■Ui.iNOATIom. 



< 



OR 



\'i A 9 > 









v/ 



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DEDICATION 

TO 

H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES 



Badminton : May 1885. 

Having received permission to dedicate these volumes, 

the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes, 

to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, 

I do so feeling that I am dedicating them to one of the 

vj best and keenest sportsmen of our time. I can say, from 

Xf personal observation, that there is no man who can 

^ extricate himself from a bustling and pushing crowd of 

horsemen, when a fox breaks covert, more dexterously 

and quickly than His Royal Highness ; and that when 

hounds run hard over a big country, no man can take a 

line of his own and live with them better. Also, when 

the wind has been blowing hard, often have I seen 

£ His Royal Highness knocking over driven grouse and 

<:• partridges and high-rocketing pheasants in first-rate 

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V 



vi THE POETRY OF SPORT 

workmanlike style. He is held to be a good yachtsman, 
and as Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron is 
looked up to by * those who love that pleasant and 
exhilarating pastime. His encouragement of racing is 
well known, and his attendance at the University, Public 
School, and other important Matches testifies to his 
being, like most English gentlemen, fond of all manly 
sports. I consider it a great privilege to be allowed to 
dedicate these volumes to so eminent a sportsman as 
His* Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and I do 
so with sincere feelings of respect and esteem and loyal 
devotion. 

BEAUFORT. 



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BADMINTON 



PREFACE 



A FEW LINES only are necessary to explain the object 
with which these volumes are put forth. There is no 
modern encyclopaedia to which the inexperienced man, 
who seeks guidance in the practice of the various British 
Sports and Pastimes, can turn for information. Some 
books there are on Hunting, some on Racing, some 
on Lawn Tennis, some on Fishing, and so on ; but one 
Library, or succession of volumes, which treats of the 
Sports and Pastimes indulged in by Englishmen — and 
women — is wanting. The Badminton Library is offered 
to supply the want. Of the imperfections which must 
be found in the execution of such a design we are 



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viii THE POETRY OF SPORT 

conscious. Experts often differ. But this we may say, 
that those who are seeking for knowledge on any of the 
subjects dealt with will find the results of many years' 
experience written by men who are in every case adepts 
at the Sport or Pastime of which they write. It is to 
point the way to success to those who are ignorant of 
the sciences they aspire to master, and who have no 
friend to help or coach them, that these volumes are 
written. 

To those who have worked hard to place simply and 
clearly before the reader that which he will find within, 
the best thanks of the Editor are due. That it has been 
no slight labour to supervise all that has been written, he 
must acknowledge ; but it has been a labour of love, and 
very much lightened by the courtesy of the Publisher, 
by the unflinching, indefatigable assistance of the Sub- 
Editor, and by the intelligent and able arrangement 
of each subject by the various writers, who are so 
thoroughly masters of the subjects of which they treat. 
The reward we all hope to reap is that our work may 
prove useful to this and future generations. 

THE EDITOR. 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY 
By Alfred E. T. Watson 

With this volume, the twenty-eighth of the series, the Bad- 
minton Library comes to an end — at least, so far as is at 
present contemplated. The labours of more than twelve years 
are finished, except as regards the task of revising the 
various books, and issuing new editions in order to keep them 
abreast of the times. That these labours are generally recog- 
nised as having been well bestowed those who are most 
closely connected with the Library are best aware ; and it 
has been thought well in this last volume to give some de- 
scription of the origin and development of a work which, with- 
out egotism on the part of its conductors, may be claimed to 
have had a deep and widely extended influence on the world 
of Sport. 

It has just been said that the publication of the Badminton 
Library has been spread over twelve years ; but, in fact, nearly 
fifteen years have passed since the project was first originated. 
Early in the spring of 1882 a question arose at 39 Paternoster 
Row as to the desirability of bringing out a new edition of 
* Blaine's Encyclopaedia of Sports.' The interest in several 
popular pastimes had recently grown stronger, others had 
arisen since the days of Blaine, and it was .evident that to do 
thorough justice to the subject was a very considerable task. 
So considerable, indeed, did it appear on examination 



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X THE POETRY OF SPORT 

that a member of the firm — Mr. C. J. Longman — suggested 
the idea of several little books, each devoted to a separate 
sport. A volume might be made out of Hunting, it was 
thought, another out of Racing ; about Fishing there was 
much to be said, and Shooting also afforded material. Cricket, 
or perhaps Cricket with a chapter or two on Football, would 
serve to prolong the series, and various branches of athletics. 
Boating, Swimming, Skating, might be utilised to make up a 
library of half a dozen books. The project seemed a large 
one, but its devisers so much approved of it that in a moment 
of enthusiasm it was actually thought possible the Library 
might finally include as many as seven or eight volumes. 

Here a few words may be interpolated as to the curious 
rise and fall of favourite sports and pastimes. Some few, 
indeed, are unaffected by time. Cricket has been the national 
pastime for a century, and as for its introduction, * clearly it 
was a boys' game in the early days of Elizabeth ' Mr. Andrew 
Lang declares in his preface to the * Cricket ' volume ; racing 
has been a national sport for a period not easily to be defined 
— is not the famous * Rowley Mile' at Newmarket so called 
because it was the favourite course of King Charles IL ? — and 
there never was a time when, after some fashion or other. Eng- 
lishmen did not hunt. But other pastimes * have their day and 
cease to be,' vanishing with a celerity which only equals their 
rise. Twenty years ago England in general went rinking. 
Rinks were laid down in all directions ; the manufacture of 
roller skates became a busy industry. What could be more 
delightful and exhilarating? Enthusiasts wondered why so 
simple a contrivance as the roller skate had not been invented 
long since, and regretted the time they had wasted on so foolish 
a business as croquet ; for croquet was formerly almost what 
rinking had now become. 

Does anybody rink now ? On an asphalted by-street one 
may at times find a belated little boy, probably with one skate, 
making little straight runs with a growing confidence which 
ends in a fall. He has found the skate among some old lot of 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY xi 

discarded rubbish, to which it was consigned to keep company, 
perhaps, with the battered croquet balls, hoops and mallets — 
though, by the way, croquet, in a new and more difficult shape, 
has recently had something of a revival. For midway in the 
seventies anew craze arose. In 1874 Major Wingfield patented a 
game which he called * Sphairistike,' a game that speedily made 
its way in all directions under its familiar name of Lawn Tennis. 
Rinks could be utilised as tennis grounds, and to this end multi- 
tudes of them came. Lord Arthur Hervey, afterwards Bishop of 
Bath and Wells, an enthusiastic tennis player, had, it was said, 
played a similar game on the lawn of his Rectory in Suffolk, 
and the credit of its invention was claimed for Leamington and 
elsewhere ; but certainly it had not been generally known till 
Major Wingfield took it up, and when he did so it entirely 
usurped the place of its predecessors in fleeting public favour. 

Everybody could hit a ball over a net, or could at least 
try to do so, and almost the only persons who derided the 
game were, oddly enough, tennis players— the few men who 
appreciated the vastly superior charms of tennis proper, the 
game about which Charles V. of France was the first of many 
royal enthusiasts. Lawn tennis, to use a current colloquialism, 
looked as if it had * come to stay,' and indeed its popularity is 
not extinct if the number and enthusiasm of its devotees have 
diminished. It was fatally injured by its over-perfection. A 
certain number of ardent players became so expert that the 
game ceased to amuse the ordinary man, who grew tired of 
sending over the net bad serves with which his opponent did 
what he liked, and of vainly endeavouring to return balls which 
went at lightning speed into the most unexpected places. 

The world was ready for a new game when, in a few out-of- 
the-way places, men were occasionally met carrying what to the 
casual eye looked like overgrown walking-sticks with fantastic 
handles. Better informed observers recognised in them the 
implements of Golf, and some few were so well instructed as 
to be able to state that the things were known as * clubs.' A 
further refinement, the capacity for distinejuishing between a 



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xii THE POETRY OF SPORT 

cleek, a lofter, and a mashie, was then as rare as it is now 
common. Golf in Scotland, as everyone knows, dates from a 
period * whereof the memory of man runneth not to the con- 
trary ; ' and why, after being unheeded by Englishmen for so 
long a time, it should suddenly have become the rage in every 
quarter of the country must always remain one of the eternal 
mysteries. The Royal Game, its devotees declared, was not 
only replete with advantages, it was absolutely devoid of dis- 
advantages. * It is a game for players of all degrees and ages, 
for the veteran of seventy as for the boy of seven.* Lord Well- 
wood cordially asserts : * It cannot be learnt too soon, it is 
never too late to begin it.' At any rate, golf spread more 
rapidly than any other game had done within living memory, 
and it was taken up more ardently. There were districts of 
England where a person's moral character was considered of 
less importance than the ease and precision of his swing. An 
author might have written a valuable book, an inventor made a 
brilliant discovery, but how was a creature to be really respected 
whose putting was so ludicrously bad ? As soldier or sailor a 
man might have done admirable service, but his persistent 
habit of slicing or topping his ball was not to be pardoned. 

That any distraction could affect the ever-spreading 
mania for golf seemed a few years since well nigh incredible, 
and that the successful rival to the golf-club would be the cycle 
was utterly beyond the pale of belief. During the seventies a 
few persons did ride cycles, it is true, but to do so was generally 
held to be a gross breach of that good form which the majority 
of self-respecting people would rather perish than offend against. 
Someone looked at the half-abashed cyclists of the period, 
perched high in the air on their lofty wheels, and dubbed them 
* cads on castors.' The alliterative reproach was held exactly 
to hit off the truth : to ride on ' castors ' was, in the opinion of 
not a few unsympathetic people, to be a cad. The occupation 
stamped the man. If five or six years ago anybody had 
wanted to make the most ludicrously outrageous of all 
imaginable prophecies, it would have been that the day was at 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY xiii 

hand when the most fastidious personages of London society 
would be seen riding bicycles ; and if he had added a forecast 
that ladies as well as men would do this, and that, moreover, 
in the public streets, he would have been regarded as eligible 
for a lunatic asylum. Inhere are bounds to unreason, and this 
seemed utterly beyond them. 

Cycling was under the ban ; it was a discredited business 
altogether. If occasionally one met at dinner, or at a club of 
reputation, a man who had been seen on a cycle, he was rather 
severely chaffed about it ; one felt that he would scarcely have 
been asked to dine if the offence had been known, or, in the 
case of a club, that the committee might well give him a little 
salutary advice. But by degrees rumour spread the incredible 
tale that a number of these backsliders from reputable ways 
were accustomed to meet in a place called Battersea Park ; 
and a visit there in the season of 1894 revealed an absolutely 
amazing condition of affairs. There they were, members of 
both Houses of the Legislature, their wives and sisters and 
daughters, the most rigid observers of the strictest tenets of good 
form, bearers of historical names, doers of great deeds, pedal- 
ling up and down, to and fro — ^with very varying degrees of ease 
and grace, no doubt, sometimes in jeopardy of disaster, occa- 
sionally in actual grief, but pedalling all the same. No one 
was ashamed, everyone was proud to ride ; it was * the thing ' 
to do. The rumour ran that all the royal family had bought 
bicycles, and the man who invented the phrase *cads on 
castors ' was set down as an idiot. 

Thus fashion changes. When the Badminton Library was 
started and it was determined to have the volumes illustrated 
many pictures might have been anticipated ; but one scene 
which nobody conceived it would ever be possible to draw was 
that which may now be witnessed a dozen times in the course 
of a very brief journey by road or rail— a party of men and ladies 
passing along the highway on bicycles, with a little concourse 
of golf players in the field behind them. And it is for this 
reason that in speaking of the Library as having come to an end 



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xiv THE POETRY OF SPORT 

the words * so far as is at present contemplated ' have been 
added ; for who can say, after the brief summary in the fore- 
going pages, what sport may not spring up and take the public 
fancy in the course of a year or two ? If any such does 
arise, a volume about it will doubtless be written. 

The few words I proposed to write have extended beyond 
the space I thought they would occupy, and I have somewhat 
strayed from the history of the Library, which I now resume. 

It being decided that the books should be published, 
the question of an Editor arose, and naturally of an Editor 
whose name would carry the utmost weight. Of all English 
sportsmen none fulfilled every essential condition so fully as 
the Duke of Beaufort, hereditary Master of one of the most 
famous packs of hounds in England, a member of the Jockey 
Club and keen lover of the Turf, a coachman of unequalled 
skill and experience, an admirable shot, a most expert fisher- 
man. If only his Grace could be induced to lend his 
invaluable aid success was assured — and, moreover, a pecu- 
liarly attractive and appropriate title for the Library, * The 
Badminton,' naturally followed. The late Mr. Tom Paine, a 
well-known sportsman, and a member of the famous firm of 
TattersalVs, was a friend of Messrs. Longman, and brought the 
matter before the Duke, who, with the ready and invariable 
kindness which has ever been his chief characteristic, called 
at Paternoster Row, discussed the idea, and consented, 
in August 1882, to edit the series— an assistant-editor was 
appointed, and the work of preparation begun. The Duke 
himself most generously consented to write some of the * Hunt- 
ing * volume, which was to be the first, in virtue of the fame 
of his Hounds ; and Mr. Mowbray Morris, master of a style 
at once graphic and graceful, accepted an offer to contribute 
certain chapters. Lord Suffolk and Mr. W. G. Craven 
undertook * Racing ; ' Mr. Cholmondeley-Pennell, one of the 
best known of fishermen, agreed to prepare the volume on 
the subject of his craft, and Mr. W. B. Woodgate to do 
the * Boating.' Other volumes were at the time more or less 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY xv 

vaguely contemplated, and the autumn of 1882 saw the scheme 
thus far started. 

The narrative, to be accurate, must now become to a 
certain extent personal, a circumstance for which the writer 
can only apologise. Early in the summer of 1883 the authors 
of the * Racing' book found they would not have sufficient 
material to complete the requisite number of pages, the idea 
of including * Steeplechasing ' in the volume was mooted, and 
I was asked to supply the chapters, which I promised to do if I 
could secure the co-operation of Mr. Arthur Coventry, then in 
the height of his fame as a rider of races. For this superlatively 
fine horseman I shared the warmest admiration with such 
authorities as Tom Cannon and the late Fred Archer, the 
latter of whom once remarked to me that though in five-furlong 
races, where jumping off at the start was so important, Mr. 
Coventry might be at just the least disadvantage with jockeys 
who were in constant practice, over a mile course that gentleman 
was as good as the best of the professional riders. Mr. Arthur 
Coventry — though not without some pressing, for he 
protested that his bent was not towards literature — at length 
very kindly consented to supervise and guide my work ; and 
in July 1883 we signed a contract to prepare the book, or 
rather the portion of the book, within six months. 

If I knew to what extent I might write without encroaching 
unduly on th^ reader's sympathy, I should like to describe the 
pleasure of writing that book in conjunction with such a part- 
ner. My one leading idea was to be practical. Well-balanced 
phrases, the avoidance of that miserable slang which was at 
one time the chief characteristic of articles on sport and which 
naturally disgusts the educated reader, these things were all very 
well so far as they went. So opposed to slang was the Editor 
in chief that he even disliked the generally accepted term 
*whip' for * whipper-in,' declaring that a whip was an im- 
plement, not a man. Simple English has been our constant 
aim. But if a book is to have any value, any justification for 
its existence in these days, when such mountains of matter 



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xvi THE POETRY OF SPORT 

are annually poured out of the Press, it must be practical. To 
this end I visited training-grounds and courses, talked and 
corresponded with cross-country riders. Mr. Arthur Yates 
was a fund of information, and his downs a fertile field of 
ideas ; James Jewitt took me to Kennett, and explained with 
illustrations the art of training and riding winners. To Joseph 
Cannon as a winner of the Grand National I was indebted 
for very many hints ; the reminiscences of Robert I'Anson 
were of the utmost importance ; Mr. J. M. Richardson, rider 
of two National winners, Reugny and Disturbance, wrote me 
invaluable letters which I incorporated ; and Lord Suffolk, 
keenest of humorists and shrewdest of guides, was always ready 
to lay open the stores of his knowledge. My partner was in 
active practice. Old Hesper's day was almost done, though he 
still came out occasionally ; but on The Dethroned and others 
Mr. Coventry was in the habit of riding to victory, and continu- 
ally afforded me texts. I read him my chapters for his criticism 
and comment, and if any doubtful points arose— though I 
should have been more than satisfied with his judgment — I 
was always glad to hear the decision, * We had better go and 
ask Tom Cannon \ ' for that meant a delightful visit to Dane- 
bury, the master of which was the spul of hospitality, and having 
the horses out in the morning for the solution of diflficulties by 
observation of what happened over the jumps. One reward 
of this came in 1896, when Mr. Campbell, rider of the winner 
of the Grand National, with whom I had not the pleasure of 
previous acquaintance, was good enough to write and say 
that he wanted to let me know he attributed his success in a 
great measure to the advice given in the Badminton book on 
* Stceplechasing.' 

Early in 1884, at the time fixed, the MS. of * Steeple- 
chasing ' w^as delivered, the first * copy ' that had been received 
for the Library ; it was put into type, corrected, and paged ; and 
there matters for the time ended. The assistant-editor had, in 
fact, been occupied with other business, and in the course of time 
Messrs. Longman were led to understand that he would be glad 



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THE BADMINTON. UBRARY xvii 

if he were relieved of his engagement with them ; whereupon 
they asked me if I were willing to bring about the relief by 
undertaking the assistant-editorship should my predecessor wish 
to give it up. The task was in every way most congenial. 
In the course of a fortnight the new organisation was arranged, 
and an agreement between the editor, assistant -editor, and 
publisher was signed, on February 6, 1885. 

In this chapter I am for the first time taking advantage of 
the fact that I can obtain control of the volume and evade the 
supervision of my chief; for otherwise no testimony can be 
borne in the pages of the Badminton Library to the immense 
debt w^hich all who are interested in it owe to the Duke of 
Beaufort. One little anecdote I may here interpolate as an 
example of the extraordinary thoroughness with which the 
editor hag fulfilled the duties which— it need scarcely belaid, 
^ without fee or reward ' — he readily undertook. 

In an early volume of the Library reference was made to a 
lately deceased nobleman as having served in the Grenadier 

Guards in the Peninsula. * I don't think Lord was in the 

Grenadiers,' the Duke wrote to me when he returned the 
proof. * I have searched in every book I can think of at Bad- 
minton as likely to furnish. information, but I shall be going 
to Bristol in a day or two, and may find one there \ if not, 
when I am in London I can doubtless ascertain.' To me 
this seemed an excess of care, and I replied, * Do you think 
it really matters? Let us say he was "in the Guards" — that 
would cover the point ; or, indeed, w^hy mention any regiment ? 

Would it not be enough to say, " Lord , who did excellent 

service in the Peninsula " ? Nothing turns on his having been 
a Guardsman.' But this did not 'satisfy my chief. * No,' he 
answ^ered, * let us get it right. My impression is that he was in 
the Coldstreams, and it is just as well to make sure if we can.^ 
He was in the Coldstreams, records proved ; and, though I con- 
sidered the matter unimportant, it showed me the spirit in 
which the Badminton Library was to be written. I understood 
that our work in its most trivial details was to be as accurate as 



a, 

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xviii THE POETRY OF SPORT 

care could make it ; that if critics thought proper to differ from 
our conclusions, they were not to be allowed to disprove our 
asserted facts. 

The system upon which we have worked is this. In con- 
junction with the publishers — and the absolutely indefatigable 
labours of Mr. T. Norton Longman more especially deserve 
the most cordial recognition, for without him the Library 
would never have been what it is, if it had ever come into 
existence — I have usually selected writers, submitting their 
names to the Duke, who on his part has taken pains to ascer- 
tain their suitability, and in several cases — notably the * Riding ' 
and ' Driving ' volumes — has made valuable suggestions of his 
own. I have then discussed and arranged schemes, obtained 
manuscripts — in some instances ready for the printer, in others 
requiring much supervision, in others, again, so rough that the 
matter needed practically rewriting. Proofs have been sent to 
the Duke after a revision supposed to have been complete, 
though in many cases containing shps of various kinds, which 
his diligence has seldom or never failed to detect. I have not 
left it to the editor-in-chief to strike out the formula in which, 
■differently phrased, a great number of the writers have begun — 
that the subject they were endeavouring to treat was exhausted 
long since, that nothing more remained to be said, but that, in 
accordance with a flattering invitation, they were trying to say 
something. To pass these introductory remarks — which occurred 
with amusing frequency and were of course calculated to make 
the reader suppose the author was trying to thrash a dead horse 
— did not seem to me judicious, the more so for the reason 
that they were seldom justified. Because, years ago, a book 
on a certain subject was published, that subject could not be 
looked on as finally treated, particularly having regard to the 
constantly varying conditions of sport and to the fact that 
the modern writer often differed from the conclusions of ear- 
lier authors. 

The leading idea, as I have said, was to be practical— to 
obtain books from men who had won reputation for their skill 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY xix 

and success in the sports and pastimes they were asked to 
describe. That most of them would say they never had written, 
and were sure they never could write, was inevitable ; but 
whatever we got from them, however roughly expressed, was 
sure to contain valuable information, the result of actual experi- 
ence ; and for a practised writer with some knowledge of the 
matter under discussion to put the manuscript into English 
was never an impossible task, though sometimes an arduous 
one. A serious business was the making of schemes ; for, 
properly made, they contribute immensely to the ease with 
which a book may be written and to its value when complete ; 
clumsily devised, they worry the author and perplex or dis- 
appoint the reader. I venture to submit this to the con- 
sideration of writers as the outcome of a good many years of 
experience. 

A few words must also be said about the illustrations, for 
the magnitude of the task involved— in the performance of 
which Mr. Norton Longman laboured with untiring diligence, 
so much so that he is mainly responsible for the pictorial 
work — cannot possibly be appreciated by anyone who has not 
striven to obtain technically accurate and appropriate drawings 
for volumes on sport of all descriptions. A large number of 
photographs have been used in the Library, but probably 
not ten per cent, of those that were taken have been deemed 
serviceable. 

Matters were not at all in a forward condition when, in 
February 1885, I first looked into them. Mr, Mowbray Morris 
had written a few chapters of * Hunting,' and forgotten all about 
them. Lord Suffolk had finished a brilliant sketch of New- 
market, and obtained deuils of a few trials ; and Mr. Craven 
had been compiling a history of racing— but they, too, had put 
their work away. Mr, Cholmondeley-Pennell had made most 
progress — so much, indeed, that it was obvious a couple of 
volumes would be occupied if ' Fishing ' was to be thorough. 
Three years had elapsed since a Library had been decided 
on, considerably more than two since it was arranged that it 

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XX THE POETRY OF SPORT 

should be a * Badminton Library/ with the Duke of Beaufort 
as editor ; so the thing to be done was to push on vigorously, 
and let one of the long-talked-of volumes appear. Mr. Mowbray 
Morris resumed his pen ; the Duke himself set to work on an 
essay on *Hunt Servants and their Duties/ with incidental 
remarks on subjects which the most experienced M.F.H. in the 
country was peculiarly qualified to discuss ; Lord Suffolk, an 
old master of harriers, wrote a chapter on the sport he had long 
followed ; a great authority on the otter, the Rev. E. W. L. 
Davies, contributed a delightful chapter on *The Otter and 
his Ways ; * I was asked to undertake the two chapters on 
* Stables ' and * Kennels ' — in a great measure a description of 
the buildings and methods then to be found at Badminton ; 
and at length, towards the end of 1885, the first volume of the 
Badminton Library was issued, dedicated by permission to 
H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. 

Meantime Mr. Pennell had completed his two volumes^ 
and, after much discussion as to what should be omitted and 
included, * Racing ' was ready to be joined to * Steeplechasing,' 
which had been finished for more than two years, and so required 
bringing up to date. Among the best work in the Library, if 
I may be allowed to express an opinion, I rank Lord Suffolk's 
all too brief description of sport at Newmarket in this volume, 
which appeared in 1886. 

By this time one thing was evident : the Library was going 
to be a great success ; and as for the projected six books, 
sixteen, we began to think, would be nearer the mark. Two 
volumes on which we all specially prided ourselves wer^ in 
active preparation— 'Shooting,' a subject which was not to be 
compressed into one book, and about the division of which 
there was much perplexity till it was decided to separate the 
parts into ' Field and Covert,' * Moor and Marsh.' No book 
has added more to the reputation of the Library ; for Lord 
Walsingham not only enjoys the deserved credit of being an 
unsurpassed authority on all matters connected with the sport, 
but he is able to impart his knowledge pleasantly and graphi- 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY jcxi 

cally -y Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey's acquaintance with wild-fowl 
and with the construction of firearms is altogether exceptional ; 
and a chapter on * Deer ' by the late Lord Lovat was at once 
recognised as the work of a master of the subject and of a 
dehghtfully simple, picturesque stjde. Then, too, the illustra- 
tions were of exceptional value, for the bulk of them were 
drawn by, or under the immediate supervision of, Mr. A. J. 
Stuart-Wortley. Without endeavouring to * place ' such men 
as Mr. Stuart-Wortley, Lords Walsingham and de Grey, 
and a very few others, it may be safely said that for a long 
time Mr. Wortley was one of the half-dozen best shots in 
the country, and an artist and naturalist as well as a sports- 
man. 

The question had meantime arisen— a question little con- 
templated when the idea of the Library was originated — 
whether a volume on * Cycling ' might not really be seriously 
considered. * Shooting ' and * Hunting ' had appealed chiefly to 
the * classes ' perhaps, but we wished to appeal to the * masses ' 
also — to adopt Mr. Gladstone's distinction— and at the time 
never supposed that multitudes outside this latter category 
would be attracted by a book on such a subject. Still 
some persons did ride, the then Lord Bury among them, and 
he consented to write in conjunction with Mr. Lacy Hillier, 
who was one of the few who had adopted * the wheel ' with 
distinction. It seemed a dubious experiment, and we certainly 
did not imagine that a second edition would be wanted two 
years later, a third in 189 1, a fourth in 1894, and a fifth in 1895 
— figures which tend to show how rapidly cycling has grown 
in public favour. Is there, one wonders, any new pastiipe in 
store which will make as material an addition to English 
manufactures? For think of the enormous number of men 
who now gain their livelihood by the production and repair- 
ing and selling of the successors to the once despised veloci- 
pede. 

A volume jointly made up of * Athletics ' and * Football ' also 
came out in 1887 ; and to some extent the recent craze for the 



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xxii THE POETRY OF SPORT 

latter game might have been mentioned in what has been said a 
few pages earlier about the rise and decline of popular pastimes. 
But football, since the access of professionalism to the ranks of 
its players, appeals almost exclusively to its own public, though 
that is an enormous one, no doubt, especially in the North of 
England. That football has the steady vitality of cricket may 
well be doubted, and it certainly has not the well nigh uni- 
versal popularity of the latter game. 

Eight volumes had now been issued, and several of the 
most prominent subjects were still untouched, notably * Cricket' 
and 'Boating.' These two followed. Mr. W. B. Wood- 
gate had for a considerable time had in hand the sport 
in which he shone, and Dr. Warre, Headmaster of Eton, 
was good enough to help. That * Cricket ' would be one of 
the successes of the Library needed little guessing, for the 
plan of going only to experts who had made reputations in the 
game or sport they wrote about was inflexibly adopted. Mr. 
A. G. Steel was then giving constant proof of his capacity — I 
think it was while engaged on this book that he made 148 
against Australia — and he was aided by Mr. R. A. H. Mitchell, 
the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton, and Dr. W. G. Grace. Mr. SteeFs 
chapter on * Bowling ' was, I believe, the first attempt ever made 
to explain the whole science and theory in a manner which 
gave practical value to the work. * Cricket' appeared in 
1888, and greatly strengthened the reputation of the Library, 
for suitable additions to which we were now diligently searching. 
A volume on * Riding and Driving ' had been contemplated, 
but we soon perceived that this must be divided into two, as 
* Polo ' could hardly be omitted, and as, moreover, the Duke 
of Beaufort kindly agreed to write several chapters of a Driving 
book. Further than this, a number of his friends were ready 
to give active aid towards a work on a subject with which 
as president of the Coaching Club he was so immediately 
identified. The late Duke of Somerset, then Lord Algernon 
St Maur, jotted down graphic reminiscences of old coaching 
days ; Lady Georgiana Curzon, whose ability on the driving 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY xxiii 

seat perhaps no other lady has ever equalled, showed that 
she could handle pen as skilfully as reins ; and the late 
Sir Christopher Teesdale, V.C., wrote a couple of chapters 
in such happy style as to make it a matter for sincere 
regret that he had not written more. The Earl of Onslow, 
who has done excellent service in more than one book, was 
good enough to send a chapter on the 'Carriage Horse.' 
This indeed may, I think, be claimed as one of the strong 
points of the Library : sportsmen of all descriptions who had 
something to say have been induced to say it in these volumes, 
whereas had they not been approached and pressed, and in 
not a few instances over-persuaded after early refusals based 
on the ground of asserted incapacity, they would never have 
written at all. 

But the feature of the * Driving ' book was the oppor- 
tunity it gave for the delightfully interesting recollections of the 
Duke of Beaufort, from the days of his boyhood, at home 
and abroad. * Driving ' thus became peculiarly a * Badminton ' 
book, and the picturesque descriptions of the road in the 
early days of the century give lasting value to the volume, 
written as it is by those who took an active part in the scenes 
described. * Driving ' was not the only issue in 1889. 
'Fencing, Boxing, and Wrestling' were joined together as 
kindred subjects. 

Was there really material for a whole book on 'Golf 
had at one time seemed a question, even if the volume was 
to take a somewhat wide scope and include a chapter on 
*The Humours of Golf by Mr. Arthur Balfour, M.P. As 
a matter of fact, I had to cut out, if I recollect aright, close 
on a hundred pages, and then the book remained one of 
the longest in the Library. With * Golf,' in 1890, appeared 
•Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Rackets and Fives,' that distin- 
guished player Mr. J. M. Heathcote being the chief of many 
contributors. 

'Riding,' separated from its once allotted companion 
subject * Driving,' had meantime been making progress. 



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xxiv THE POETRY OF SPORT 

delayed somewhat by the difficulty I had experienced in 
finding an author for a chapter on *Race Riding.' The 
idea of letting experts only write had been unswervingly fol- 
lowed, but as I could not discover an authority to do this 
directly, I made several authorities do it indirectly —that is 
to say, I discussed the art with the leading jockeys of the 
day, e.g. the late F. Archer, Tom Cannon, F. Webb, and a 
very few others — and put into shape what I gleaned from 
them. The late Captain Moray Brown filled a part of the 
book with some careful chapters on * Polo.* 

The Library had now extended to fifteen volumes. That 
some should have been more popular than others was inevi- 
table, as different sports and pastimes enjoy different degrees 
of popularity ; but the reception of these fifteen was such as 
to convince the projectors that if they could produce fifteen 
more volumes on the same lines they would all be cordially re- 
ceived. * Mountaineering ' appealed forcibly to a certain class of 
travellers, and in 1892 this was issued ; Sir W. M. Conway, 
Messrs. C. T. Dent, D. W. Freshfield, and others co-operating. 
* Skating ' and other ice sports could not of course be omitted 
if the series was to be complete, and this book was published in 
the same year. * Swimming ' was obviously a matter deserving 
treatment, and though both 'Coursing and Falconry' have failed 
to hold their own as popular sports, neither is obsolete — the 
interest taken in the Waterloo Cup proves that coursing has 
still very many followers. These two together were therefore 
contemplated and carried out — * Falconry ' by an enthusiast, 
Mr. Gerald I^scelles. 

* Yachting ' had been in preparation for I cannot say how 
many years, and the time expended on it naturally complicated 
its treatment ; for mental activity is peculiarly brisk among 
designers of yachts, and the latest ideas, by the time they 
were described and illustrated, had been superseded by later 
still. To Mr. R. T. Pritchett, the artist, special credit is due 
for these two volumes, as his knowledge of the best men 
to select for the very various subjects was of immense assis- 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY xxv 

tance. The theme, too, was infinitely more extensive than was 
imagined. There were so many things to be included, such as 
a description of the boat which Lord Dufferin was accustomed 
to sail single-handed — often on days when no mariner on the 
Italian coast, where the owner of the ' Hermione ' first sailed 
her, could be persuaded to put to sea. The late Lord Pem- 
broke, too, one of the most quietly humorous and picturesque 
of all the Badminton authors, had a branch of the subject to 
discuss which had specially appealed to him — the pleasure 
that might be enjoyed by the employment of yachts' sailing 
boats. 

Started in 1891, * Yachting ' was not out till 1894, the same 
year that saw the publication of another two-volume book — 
* Big Game Shooting.' Big game was a big subject, as will be 
readily supposed, seeing the number of European, Asiatic, and 
American beasts that it includes. There was one writer, also, we 
were peculiarly anxious to find, and long sought in vain, one who 
remembered and could describe the Africa of half a century 
since, before the game had been disturbed by Europeans carry- 
ing arms of precision, when the whole country was alive with 
beast and bird. Such a man, by the greatest of good luck, we 
lighted on — the late Colonel W. C. Oswell, friend and long-time 
companion of Livingstone. Colonel Oswell's old muzzle-loader 
would look strange as an arm of precision by the side of modern 
inventions in gunnery, but he did marvellous execution with it : 
if not as elegant and convenient as the rifle of the present day, 
it was extraordinarily effective. Assuredly Colonel OswelFs 
wholly admirable contribution remains one of the strongest 
features of the Library. 

But to extract the work from the modest old sportsman 
was a very hard business. He had kept diaries. Moreover, 
Wolff, the famous painter of animals, had drawn various pictures, 
illustrating scenes described, under the careful supervision of 
the writer ; but Colonel Oswell protested that the descriptions 
were altogether of too rough and ready a character to do duty 
in a book. He did not, in fact, realise how vivid and graphic 



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xxvi THE POETRY OF SPORT 

his narrative was : let the reader judge, for, with comparatively 
little editing, the chapters appear as he wrote them. Mr. Jack- 
son, who carried on the tale as regards sport in modern Africa, 
was equally nervous, and found in particular the difficulty of 
making a start which so often besets the unaccustomed penman ; 
but the start once made, he did admirably. Mr. Clive Phillipps- 
Wolley superintended the production of these two volumes, and 
persuaded Mr. St. George Littledale to write about aurochs, 
creatures of whose existence even many persons were unaware. 
I rather think, too, that the avis poll was first made familiar to 
readers by the Big Game books ; and from a multitude of Indian 
sportsmen we chose Lieut.-Colonel R. Heber-Percy. One of 
our lasting regrets is that we could not utilise some chapters 
written by the late Sir Samuel Baker. His pen, however, had 
been so constantly employed — as was natural in the case of a 
man who had seen so much, and who described it so forcibly 
and picturesquely — that he found it impossible to avoid 
traversing ground which he had already trodden. But he 
wrote a too brief memoir of his old friend. Colonel Oswell, 
a touching tribute to that kindly and genial pioneer of African 
sport. 

At this time we considered and rejected the idea of books 
on * Baseball, Lacrosse, Hockey, and Other Ball Games ' as not 
appealing to a sufficiently large class. * Physical Recreation ' 
was also declined, because we did not see how five hundred 
pages of readable matter could be filled, and we had already 
dealt with training and athletics. * Chess,' too, was rejected, 
but * Billiards' was put in hand, the Duke having specially 
declared that it must not be omitted, though for a long time it 
was again set aside, as we did not consider the first MS. 
obtained satisfactory. Later on, to the competent and careful 
hands of Major Broadfoot was confided the preparation of 
a fresh book, which we hope and think has given satisfac- 
tion. 

Previously to this, however, the question of * Archery ' had 
been considered and decided in the affirmative, for Mr. C. J. 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY xxvii 

Longman, himself an ex- champion archer, was ready to under- 
take what was to him a labour of love. He knew where to 
find the best archers to help him, and to his energetic labours the 
thoroughness which may safely be claimed for the volume is 
mainly due. We hope and imagine that the book has given some 
fillip to this ancient pastime, and certainly there are many quaint 
and interesting chapters — not least that which quotes the essay 
of an enthusiastic bowman who set himself to show why for 
all purposes of war and sport his weapon was, and ever must 
remain, infinitely superior to the new-fangled gun — so short and 
circumscribed w^as human foresight. 

*Sea Fishing' as a sport had made vast way since the 
Library was first contemplated. Visitors to the seaside had 
from time immemorial gone out in boats and dangled leaded 
lines, baited with mussels, over the sides ; some few had used 
a rod from the end of a pier ; but very little indeed was gene- 
rally known about sea fish and the best methods of taking 
them. Not one in a hundred of those who fished for a moment 
imagined what a vast amount of genuine sport the sea provided ; 
and we found an ardent sea fisherman, with a really marvellous 
knowledge of the subject, anxious to spread the information 
he had accumulated. I think no book in the Library is more 
complete than Mr. John Bickerdyke*s volume. 

* Dancing ' had been suggested to a member of the firm of 
publishers, but for a long time we hesitated, fearing the obvious 
criticism that it was * not a sport,* though it is the oldest and 
most universal of all pastimes. It was nevertheless a pastime, 
and one which lent itself to picturesque treatment. The sub- 
ject remained in abeyance until at a meeting of the British 
Association in 1893 I noticed that a paper on Dancing had 
been read by Mrs. Lilly Grove, F.R.G.S., and this turned the 
scale. Mrs. Grove, on being communicated with, expressed 
her readiness to write, so we faced the criticism, and * Dancing ^ 
was written. 

It had frequently been impressed upon us while the Library 
was in preparation what an enormous quantity of verse had 



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xxviii THE POETRY OF SPORT 

■been written on the subject of sport, and that amongst it there 
was a not inconsiderable proportion of poetry which was 
swamped in the mass of rubbish and forgotten.. The task of 
investigating the mountain of matter and selecting what seemed 
worthy of preservation was simply stupendous^ and required an 
amount of patience and care not easily to be realised. The 
percentage of those melancholy effusions which begin with a 
flatulent invocation to *01d Sol' — a divinity still introduced 
daily into the compositions of ' sporting ' reporters and writers 
of the baser sort — is incredible, and then as a general rule the 
verses go on to muddle and misapply the commonplaces of 
heathen mythology. We felt that a selection of what was 
best in the * Poetry of Sport ' would make an excellent book, 
but were less satiguine about finding anyone equipped with 
the requisite knowledge where to look, the judgment where 
to choose, and the courage to undertake the task. At 
length the untiring student whom we sought was discovered 
in Mr. Hedley Peek, and here is the result of three years 
of labour, the twenty-eighth volume of the Library, to speak 
for itself. 

The name of the * Badminton ' has become so familiar to 
those who have thus launched the Library that readers will 
understand a natural reluctance to cea.se active work under the 
title, and it is to this reluctance that the * Badminton Magazine ' 
owes its origin. As for this chapter, it was suggested by the 
publishers, and readily undertaken by me, because during the 
last twelve years we have received such innumerable proofs of 
kindly interest from all quarters, at home and abroad, as to 
make us gladly recognise the pleasant circumstance that many 
of our readers have become friends rather than mere purchasers. 
For all this kindness we take the present opportunity of 
returning grateful thanks. There is the Library ; we have done 
our very best to make it sound and thorough, and our reward 
has been that this has been so cordially acknowledged. 

The twenty-eight volumes of the Badminton Library are 
made up as follows ; - 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY 



•THE BADMINTON LIBRARY. 

Edited by the Duke of Beaufort, K.G., and 
Alfred E. T. Watson. 

Dedicated by Special Permission to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. 

Hunting, By the Duke of Beaufort, K.G., Mowbray Morris, the 
Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, the Rev. E. W. L. Davies, Digby 
Collins, Alfred E. T. Watson, George H. Longman, Sir 
Marteine Llpyd, Bart., and J. T. Gibbons. Illustrated by J. 
Charlton, J. Sturgess, A. C. Sealy, Miss Agnes Biddulph, and 
G. D. Giles. 

Fishing. By H. Cholmondeley-Pennell, Major John P. Traheme, 
H. R. Francis, H. S. Hall, Frederic M. Halford, Thomas 
Andrews, William Senior, R. B. Marston, G. Christopher 
Davies, and the Marquis of Exeter. Illustrated by C. Whymper 
and Conway Lloyd- J ones. 2 vols. 

Racing and Steeple-chasing, By the Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, 
W. G. Craven, the Hon. F. Lawley, Arthur Coventry, and 
Alfred E. T. Watson. Illustrated by J. Sturgess. 

Boating, By W. B. Woodgate, the Rev. Edmond Warre, D.D., 
and R. Harvey Mason. Illustrated by Frank Dadd, and from 
photographs. 

Cycling. By the Earl of Albemarle and G. Lacy Hillier. Illus- 
trated by the Earl of Albemarle, J. P.ennell, G. Moore, and S. T. 
Dadd. 

Shooting. By Lord Walsingham, Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey, Bart., 
the Hon. Gerald Lascelles, A. J. Stuart- Wortley, Lord Charles 
Lennox Kerr, and Lord Lovat. Illustrated by A. J. Stuart- 
Wortley, Harper Pennington, C. Whymper, J. H. Oswald 
Brown, G. E. Lodge, and J. G. Millais. 2 vols. 

Athletics and Football. By Montague Shearman, W. Rye, Sir 
Richard Webster, Q.C., Walter Camp and A. Sutherland. 
Illustrated by Stanley Berkeley, and from photographs. 

Cricket. By A. G. Steel, the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton, A. Lang, 
F. Gale, R. A. H. Mitchell, and W. G. Grace. Illustrated by 
Lucien Davis, and from photographs. 

Driiring. By the Duke of Beaufort, K.G., the Earl of Onslow, 



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XXX THE POETRY OF SPORT 

G.C.M.G., Colonel Hugh Smith-Baillie, the Duke of Somerset, 
Major Henry Dixon, Lady Georgiana Curzon, W. C. A. Blew, 
George N. Hooper, Major-General Sir Christopher Teesdale, 
V.C, K.C.M.G., and Alfred E. T. Watson. Illustrated by J. 
Sturgess and G. D. Giles. 

Golf, By Horace G. Hutchinson, Lord Wellwood, Sir Walter 
Simpson, Bart., A. Lang, H. S. C. Everard, and the Right 
Hon. A. J. Balfour. Illustrated by Thomas Hodge and Harry 
Fumiss. 

TenniSy Lawn Tennis^ Rackets^ and Fives. By J. M. Heathcote, 
the Hon. A*lfred Lyttelton, W. C. Marshall, C. G. Heathcote, 
Miss L. Dod, H. W. W. Wilberforce, H. F. Lawford, Spencer 
W. Gore, R. D. Sears, Herbert Chipp, E. O. Pleydell-Bouverie, 
and A. C. Ainger. Illustrated by Lucien Davis, C. M. Newton, 
and from photographs. 

Riding and Polo. By the Duke of Beaufort, K.G., Captain Robert 
Weir, the Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, Alfred E. T. Watson, 
the Earl of Onslow, G.C.M.G., E. L. Anderson, and-J. Moray 
Brown. Illustrated by G. D. Giles, J. Stuart Allan, and 
Frank Dadd. 

Coursing and Falconry. By Harding Cox and the Hon. Gerald 
Lascelles. Illustrated by J. Charlton, R. H. Moore, G. E. 
Lodge, and Lancelot Speed, and from photographs. 

Skating. By J. M. Heathcote, C. G. Tebbutt, T. Maxwell 
Witham, the Rev. John Kerr, Ormond Hake, and Henry A. 
Buck. Illustrated by C. Whymper, R. M. Alexander, and from 
photographs. 

Mountaineering. By C. T. Dent, Sir W. M. Conway, D. W. 
Freshfield, C. E. Mathews, C. Pilkington, Sir F. Pollock, Bart., 
H. G. Willink, and Mr. Justice Wills. Illustrated by H. G. 
Willink and Ellis Cam 

Fencing, Boxings and Wrestling, By W. H. Pollock, F. C. Grove, 
Camille Prevost, E. B. Michell, W. Armstrong, and Egerton 
Castle. With illustrations from photographs. 

Swimming. By Archibald Sinclair and William Henry. Illus- 
trated by S. T. Dadd, and from photographs. 

Big Game Shooting. By Clive Phillipps-Wolley, W. C. Oswell, 
F. J. Jackson, F. C. Selous, Sir Samuel W. Baker, Warburton 
Pike, Arnold Pike, Lieut- Col, R. Heber Percy, Major Algernon 



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THE BADMINTON LIBRARY xxxi 

C. Heber Percy, W. A. Baillie Grohman, Sir Henry Pottinger, 
Bart., the Earl of Kilmorey, Abel Chapman, W. J. Buck, and 
St. George Littledale. Illustrated by C. Whymper, J. Wolff, 
H. Willink, and from photographs. 2 vols. 

Yachting. By Sir Edward Sullivan, Bart., Lord Brassey, K.C.B., 
C. E. Seth-Smith, C.B.,G. L. Watson, R. T. Pritchett, Sir George 
Leach, K.C.B., the Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, 
E. F. Knight, the Rev. G. L. Blake, the Marquis of Dufferin 
and Ava, K,P., James McFerran, E. W. and Robert Castle, 
T. B. Middleton, H. Horn, G. Christopher Davies, Lewis 
Herreshoff, and the Earl of Onslow, K.C.M.G. Illustrated by 
R. T. Pritchett, and from photographs. 2 vols. 

Archery, By C. J. Longman, Col. H. Walrond, Miss Leigh, 
Viscount Dillon, Major C. Hawkins Fisher, the Rev. Eyre W. 
Hussey, the Rev. W. K. R. Bedford, J. Balfour Paul, and L. W. 
Maxson. Illustrated by reproductions from engravings, prints, 
and photographs. 

Dancing, By Mrs. Lilly Grove, F.R.G.S., Miss Middleton, the 
Countess of Ancaster, and the Hon. Mrs. Armytage. Illus- 
trated by Percy Macquoid, and by reproductions from engrav- 
ings, prints, and photographs. 

Sea Fishing, By John Bickerdyke, W. Senior, A. C. Harms- 
worth, and Sir H. W. Gore- Booth, Bart. Illustrated by C. Napier 
Hemy, R. T. Pritchett, and W. W. May. 

Billiards. By Major W. Broadfoot, R.E., A. H. Boyd, Sydenham 
Dixon, W. J. Ford, Dudley D. Pontifex, Russell D. Walker, 
and Reginald H. R. Rimington- Wilson. Illustrated by Lucien 
Davis, and from photographs. 

The Poetry of Sport. By Hedley Peek, Andrew Lang, and Alfred 
E. T. Watson. Illustrated by Charles Brock, A. Thorburn, 
Lucien Davis, and numerous reproductions from engravings 
and prints. 



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PUBLISHERS' NOTE 

The Publishers desire to acknowledge the kindness of the follow- 
ing Copyright owners, Messrs. MACM1LLAN& Co., Messrs. V^INTON 
& Co., and Miss Stoddart, for permission to reprint in this 
volume various poems, each of which is separately acknowledged 
in the Index of Authors. 



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CONTENTS 



INTRODVCTORY 

I'AGK 

The Badminton Library ix 

By Alfred E, T. Watson. 

Is Sport a Fitting Subject for the Poet? . . i 
By Hedley Peek. 

Classical Sport 8 

By Andreut Latif^. 

SPORTING EXTRACTS 

Introduction 17 

The Extracts 29 

POEMS, SONGS AND BALLADS 

Introduction 137 

Hunting . 152 

Fishing 238 

b 

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xxxiv THE POETRY OF SPORT 

PAGE 

Shooting 270 

Cricket 289 

Various 306 

HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES 

Hunting 338 

Various . 376 

Index to Authors 403 

Index to First Lines 4^3 



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ILLUSTRATIONS 

(Reproduced by the Swan Electric Engraving Co.) 



A Hunting Poet 



The sielie beast to scape the dogs 

DID JUMPE upon a ROOTE . . . 

His good swerde he drewe out than 
And smote upon the wylde swyne 
Like to an eagle in his kingly pride 
What shall he have that kild the| 

Deare? I 

Here, kenneld in a brake, she finds! 

A hound I 

And watrie fowles out of the marrish ) 

FENNES f 

WiNDE JOLLIE HUNTSMEN, YOUR NKAT] 

bugles shrilly ) 

The Stag Hunt 

Behind a shady Oak, conceal'd I stood 
When Emma hunts, in huntsman's | 

habit drest ) 

Grateful calls us to a short repast . 
Leaves his close haunt and to some] 

tree repairs I 



ARTIST 

C. E. Brock Frontispiece 

TO FACE PAGE 



C. Hancock . . 


24 


C. E. Brock . 


36 


Archibald Thorbum 


41 


C, E. Brock . . 


46 


>» 


52 


Archibald Thorbum 


56 


C. E. Brock . 


63 


B, Adams . . 


67 


C. E. Brock . 


78 


>» 


83 


j» 


92 



Archibald Thorbum 1 02 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Or viewed afoot at midnight Ball . 
The best of hunters, Pan . . . 
When Bucks a hunting go . 
o mercy ! mercy ! noble lord ; 
Spare the hard pittance of the poor 
A fine old toast he gave them . 
Yet my heart bounds whene'er I hear 

YOICKS ! HARK AWAY ! AND TALLY HO ! . 

* What the deuce do you stay for ? ' \ 
we heard him exclaim . . . } 
Beneath this Oaken umbrage let us lay 
When suddenly the waters rushed, 

AND swelled, and UP THERE SPRUNG 
A HUMID MAID OF BEAUTY'S MOULD 

And see the Royal Bowmen strive 
Wha far the feather'd Arrows drive 
When gelid frosts encrust the faded | 

GROUND I 

Another a love tale betraying 
Is aim'd with a blush at the red 
From their dkwy couch on whirring i 

WING ) 

Through the sparkling snow 

a skaiting we go 

The appallin* fallin' 'unt!. 

Then to the master him they brought 

The net is waiting ready 

His gun went off, and shot his dog . 

But a stick and nothing more . 



ARTIST TO FACE PAGE 

Lucien Davis, 117 

C. E. Brock . . 152 

„ . 161 



»» • 


189 


»f • • 


204 


»1 • • 


210 


»» 


220 


Lticien Davis . . 


251 


C. E. Brock . 


253 


Lucien Davis . . 


272 


Archibald Thorbum 


278 



Lucien Davis . . 284 
Archibald Th4n'bum 287 



Lucien Davis 
C. E, Brock . 



C. E. Brock 



322 
362 
371 
378 
380 
400 



And numerous illustrations in text. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 

INTRODUCTION 

IS SPORT A FITTING SUBJECT FOR THE POET? 

A Booke ! is this the early exercise 
I I did prescribe? instead of following health, 

Which all men covet, you pursue your disease. 

Where's your great Horse, your hounds, your set at Tennis? 

Your Balloone ball, the practice of your dancing, 

Your casting of the sledge, or learning how 

To tosse the pike ; all chang'd into a Sonnet ? 

J. Ford (1629). 

The student who has thought it worth his while to make a 
careful study of the criticisms, past and present, relating to 
poetry can hardly fail to arrive at the conclusion that there is 
scarcely a single subject treated by verse-writers that has not 
alternately been condemned as unsuitable and approved as 
suitable for poetical treatment. Styles of poetry become the 
fashion and are discredited with almost as sure regularity as 
fashions in dress ; and it is rather amusing to mark the con- 
temptuous epithets hurled at those who refuse to be guided 
by the designers of metrical fashion-plates. 

We have for some years been passing through an epoch, 
now fortunately well nigh over, which has done much to 
bring about that maximum of verse- writers and minimum 
of verse-readers so often deplored of late years. This epoch 

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2 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

will in the future probably be classified as the sweet senti- 
mentality period, and has its counterparts in almost all 
centuries. It is important not to fall into a similar error, and 
because we have been cloyed with too much vapid sweetness, 
say that this style has not its fitting place and use. At the 
present time, when education is not a possession of the few, it 
is obvious that such verse-writers will be in excess of the require- 
ments of their audience. Most women and many men pass 
at one time through a sentimental phase ; but, whilst correct 
writing and the power of metrical expression are acquirements 
possible to many ; power, imagination, and genius are rare : 
thus the more fashion tends to encourage the former acquire- 
ments at the expense of the latter gifts, so much the more 
are we likely to be overdone with mediocrity ; and hence will 
result a want of manly instinct and an effeminacy of style and 
thought which nearly concern our present subject. We can 
imagine a critic of the period treating our title in the following 
contemptuous manner : — 

* Sport in its relation to poetry is an absurdity. What has 
sport to do with those delicate emotions which it is the poet's 
duty to bring before us ? ' 

It has even been stated that a hunting poet is an anomaly ; 
but in charity we will refrain from mentioning the critic's 
name : suffice it to say, that he had at one time been an 
unsuccessful verse- maker, but never a sportsman. No doubt 
he did not consider Byron a poet, yet would doubtless have 
not objected to sharing a fraction of that hunting verse- writer's 
popularity. The present time (when the more thoughtful are 
beginning to realise the fallacy of this exclusiveness) seems 
a peculiarly suitable one to place before the public a work 
from which they will be able to judge for themselves how 
many great writers in the past looked on this matter. 

It would be, perhaps, the truest criticism to say that there 
is no passion, whether mental or physical, that stirs men's hearts 
which is not a fitting object for poetry ; but it is also true 
that to deal adequately with such a subject as the one before 



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INTRODUCTION , 3 

us requires a master-hand ; for, to meet with one capable of 
describing the passions of war or the passions of sport without 
at times sinking into the region of commonplace, we must find 
a rare combination in the writer— a man whose mind and body 
are evenly balanced. Such a one was Homer ; and it is the 
very rarity of this versatility that has made his work not only 
immortal, but so full of charm to men, in all times, and of 
well nigh all dispositions. 

It must be borne in mind that many songs and ballads 
included in this collection were never meant to reach the 
standard of poetry ; some are included for their wit, some to 
mark the changes of thought and manner, and others are little 
more than curiosities, valuable, as cracked china, for their age 
or ugliness. But the reader who shall fail to discover in the 
following pages an answer in the affirmative to the question, 
* Is Sport a fitting subject for the Poet ? ' must either have 
a mind warped by prejudice, or have never known the true 
passion of a sportsman. 

Want of manliness has been in many verse- writers the one 
thing lacking to give their gift of true metrical expressiveness 
the power which alone can appeal to the healthy mind. A 
few hours daily spent in the hunting-field, or in some other 
manly sport, would have enabled them to see how diseased 
and one-sided were many of their views of life. If it is 
necessary for men of ordinary ability to keep the body in 
perfect health, how much more important must it be for one 
whose imagination is apt to take the bit in its teeth and bolt 
out of the region of common sense ! unless, of course, w^e 
believe, with some scoffers, that poetry is but the outcome 
of a diseased brain— a verdict not flattering to the poet nor in 
any way borne out by facts. 

Our greatest poets were men of action, not drawing-room 
pets, stringing out sweet-sounding platitudes for the sake of 
acquiring reputation. Shakespeare is a good example ; for it 
was during his hard life as an actor that he learnt his know- 
ledge of men, and acquired that power which has placed him 

B 2 

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4 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

among the immortal writers, not of England only, but of the 
world. He had his work to do, and one part of that work 
was to write his plays — plays that would often be acted chiefly 
before an audience who were quite incapable of fully appre- 
ciating them — but with the spirit of an artist he wrote his best ; 
and as he found men in daily life, so he portrayed them, 
doubtless unconscious that his works w^ere destined to be the 
delight of the intellectual world through all time. The poet 




The Society pet 



should of all men be the last to despise or neglect those 
instincts which are planted in men for the perfecting of the body. 
Is there nothing to appeal to him in perfect symmetr>' of form, 
in the wild freedom of health, in graceful movement, in the 
ecstasy of life for life's sake when the animal nature (if he 
choose so to call it) fulfils the perfect law of its being ? \V*e 
hear a good deal at the present time of the pagan instincts of 
some of our poets, and the expression is used not as a term 



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INTRODUCTION 5 

of reproach, but as giving an added charm to their writings. 
This word is meant doubtless to express a disposition in which 
the love of nature and of animal life and of joy preponderate ; 
and Robert Buchanan, in applying this term to the late Hon. 
Roden Noel, gives a happy illustration from his work, 

I bathe and wade in the pools, rich wrought witfi flowers 
of the ocean, 

Or over the yellow sand run swift to meet the sea, 
Dive under the walls of foam or float on a weariless motion 

Of the alive, clear wave, heaving undulant under me ! 

In these lines the poet and the sportsman meet. The 
delight of action, the healthy body fighting for a mastery with 
nature, a combat that is play, yet a play that leads to the 
perfecting of the player. And is not this the essence of sport ? 
A fight with diflficulties, in which battle some part or quality 
is slowly strengthened and improved. Hand and eye become 
more steady ; the muscles and nerves are braced to fresh 
power ; courage, calmness, and patience are exercised and 
developed. This is sport in its true sense, whether it be 
practised for the development of our own bodies, or the bodies 
of those lower lives that serve us. Surely the man who holds 
that this field of sport lies outside the poet's boundary must 
have a low opinion of poetry itself. 

We have thus endeavoured, after the manner of modern 
editors, to do full — and perhaps more than full — ^justice to our 
subject. The view has been taken only from one side, a 
fault which may be observed in well nigh every introduction 
to modern editorial work. Thus some poet long neglected is 
dragged into the daylight, and the genius and attractiveness 
of his work held up to the admiration of those who are 
sufficiently cultivated to appreciate it. It is right to be some- 
what sceptical about such revelations ; for as a rule time judges 
truthfully, and the poor poet's writings are too often but 
dragged from their graves to be re- buried in a more elaborate 
coffin. Those who have read such productions will also have 
noticed an invisible writing between the lines ; the eulogy rings 



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6 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

somewhat cracked, the voice has too often the metallic clang 
of advertisement, too little of the silvery note of conviction. 
It may be well, therefore, in this case to conclude with a 
few remarks which are more often to be found only between 
the lines. 

Sport is a fitting subject for poetry, but not by any means one 
of the highest subjects. We should have been forced to come 
to this conclusion even if it had not agreed with our previous 
opinions. After having gone carefully through the works of 
between two and three hundred writers of verse, we find the 
theme, though often referred to, not dwelt upon for long by 
the true poet, and in the exceptions to this rule the poems 
often suffer. One reason may be that those writers who 
depended upon their work were seldom wealthy enough to 
come personally in contact with the pleasures of country life ; 
but there is more than this. Sport is a pastime, and if dealt 
with too seriously is apt to play games with the poet, to make 
him appear comic when he has no intention of being so. It 
has been our endeavour to avoid as far as possible the poems 
where this defect is prominent, but some will doubtless strike 
the reader in the following collection. But even in these, 
when we take them from beneath the microscopic lens of 
higher poetic criticism, much may be found that is delightful 
to the sportsman, interesting to the student, and pleasing to 
the lover of poetry both in thought and metre. Humour and 
wit are also by no means lacking ; but this subject will be 
treated more fully later on. 

In such a collection as this, which to all intents and 
purposes involved the breaking up of new ground, or rather 
of ground which had for long lain fallow, it is necessary to 
appeal both to the reader and critic for a certain amount of 
leniency. No pains have been spared to make the collection 
both representative and complete ] but the enormous amount 
of verse written on the subject has made the task an unusually 
difficult one, especially as many of the songs have been altered 
and revised by succeeding generations till they are almost 



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INTRODUCTION 7 

unrecognisable. We have endeavoured to make use only of 
the earliest editions from which the extracts have been re- 
produced verbatim et literatim, and as far as possible have 
arranged the pieces according to date. In certain cases, how- 
ever, where these dates are supposed to be known, they have 
been rejected either because the evidence on which they have 
been accepted does not seem trustworthy, or because, from 
certain allusions to sport, or from the peculiarity of type or 
paper used, they are obviously inaccurate. The dates at the 
foot of the poems are of the editions used. 




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CLASSICAL SPORT 

By Andrew Lang 

The disinterested destruction of animal life for the mere plea- 
sure of the pursuit which we call * Sport ' can only begin under 
conditions of civilisation. Pastimes, on the other hand, or 
amusement in the exercise of speed and skill, are as old as the 
life of animals. Beasts hunt for food, no doubt deriving much 
enjoyment from the exercise, and early man does precisely 
the same thing. Still, the hunt among savages is not so much 
sport as a form of industry. Bread being quite unknown, the 
males of a party of Australian blacks are not the bread- 
winners, but the food -winners. They stalk and spear emus 
and kangaroos, they spear fish, or hunt honey-bees, not for 
diversion, but as we dig and plough. Still, they have sportive 
competitions in running, leaping, dancing, in throwing spears 
at marks, with the boomerang, and at a kind of football. 
Similar was the condition of the Red Indians, and of other 
non-cultivating races, who neither tilled the soil nor kept 
domestic cattle. To all such peoples sport was business. 
Therefore, strictly speaking, they were not sportsmen any more 
than our fishing population. 

Sport, as distinct from pastime, can only begin when 
supplies of food are secured by way of tillage, and by the milk 
and flesh of sheep, goats, and kine. There is still occasion to 
slay dangerous animals, big game, lions, bears, and tigers ; and 
venison is still desirable. But the pursuit of big gajme and 



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CLASSICAL SPORT 9 

deer becomes the diversion of kings and nobles. The Assyrian 
monuments show us the king spearing lions, or shooting wild 
beasts with bows and arrows ; the Egyptian wall-pictures and 
reliefs exhibit the pursuit, not only of lions, as by Rameses II., 
but of wild ducks. On the bronze blades of Mycenaean 
daggers (1400 B.C. ?) wild ducks are represented in gold inlaid 
work as being put up in the papyrus swamps by cats, and else- 
where the Egyptian sportsman throws a kind of boomerang at 
the birds. On the Mycenaean daggers, too, men, guarded under 
enormous shields, pursue and spear lions. Sport, in fact, has 
begun, and, with war, is the chief occupation of the nobles. 
Man retains the hunting instinct of the animal long after hunt- 
ing or fishing has ceased to be his only way of gaining a 
livelihood. 

About early Greek sport, our only authorities, of course, are 
the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer draws many similes from 
the pursuit of the lion, usually undertaken by bands of armed 
men, who surround the beast with a circle of spears. This, 
however, was mainly the work of a banded peasantry, moved 
less by sporting instincts than by the necessity of the case, 
since the lion preyed on their herds. Boar-hunting was the 
diversion of princes. In the Nineteenth Book of the Odyssey 
we hear how Odysseus, as a young man, went to see his 
cousins, the sons of Autolycus, and how, at early dawn, they 
pursued the boar in the glades of Parnassus. The hounds 
run foremost on the track of a boar, the beaters follow after, 
and behind them the young princes. The great boar lies in a 
thick tangled cover, unpierced by the wet winds or the sun's 
rays ; he hears the footsteps of the hunters, the yell of the 
hounds, and he leaps out, all bristling, and stands at bay with 
eyes of flame. Odysseus rushes in foremost, spear in hand ; 
he is gashed in the thigh by the boar's tusk, but drives the 
lance into the right shoulder of the beast, which falls and dies. 
Then the cousins of Odysseus staunch his blood with such a 
magical song as Jeanne d'Arc would not suffer to be chanted 
over her wound beneath the English wall. This is the most 



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lo THE POETRY OF SPORT 

vivid sketch of sport in Homer. More famous is the descrip- 
tion of the hero's dog, Argus, which, while it was young, no 
wild beast could escape in the woodland deeps, and men led it 
forth to chase wild goats and hares. In the Iliad, Achilles, 
not having opportunity or leisure for sport, keeps * table-dogs ' 
and terriers for company. Thus the Homeric Greeks had 
collies which snarled and snapped at strangers near the farm- 
houses ; little dogs for society ; and tall deer-hounds like 
Argus. 

As to angling, Homer speaks of * bent hooks,' which carry 
down bait and death to fishes in the sea ; but his heroes never 
fish while they can get venison. In the haunted isle of Circe 
Odysseus fares up through the wild wood alone, and meets in 
the forest path a tall-antlered stag coming down to the burn 
to drink, for the heat of the sun is upon him. The hero 
strikes it on the spine with his spear, and the stag falls blaring 
in the dust. Odysseus binds its feet together with withes, 
slings it over his shoulders, and carries it to the ship, leaning 
on his spear. The rest gather round and admire it, so royal a 
stag it is, and then they cook it. Such are glimpses of sport 
in the morning of the world — the scent of the dew is on the 
bracken and the birchwood. But angling, it seems, was rather 
contemned by these sturdy hunters, nor do we hear much of 
the use of the bow and arrow in sport. On a gem in the 
collection of Mr. Story Maskelyne we see a bare-legged angler, 
in the kind of sailor's cap usually worn by Odysseus. He is 
fishing carefully with a light one-handed rod (no reel !), and 
carries his fish not in a basket, but in a pot-bellied kind of 
vessel, probably made of leather. The description of the 
golden fish caught in a dream by the old fisherman in Theocritus 
is very realistic. We are told how the angler struck, how the 
rod bent, how he gave line, and finally landed his spoil ; but 
this was sea-fishing, as in the hackneyed tale of Cleopatra's 
trick upon Anthony, .^lian also describes the use of the 
artificial May fly by the Illyrians. They seem to have dubbed 
with red hackles, and to have * daped ' under boughs of trees. 



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CLASSICAL SPORT ii 

for you cannot cast well with a six-foot line ! To -^lian the 
artificial fly was a novelty, and the trout itself a strange fish ; 
however, he describes a rise of May fly very well. The Greeks 
had hooks with them at Troy, otherwise the men of Odysseus 
could hardly have found tackle on the desert isle, Thrinacia, 
where pastured the cattle of Hyperion. But* the Greeks, on 
the whole, were not an angling people by way of sport : nor 
were the Romans. The great Latin poets of the best period, 
such as Virgil and Lucretius, never speak of fishing, at least 
as the contemplative man's recreation. Clemens Alexandrinus, 
however, advises early Christians to wear the effigy of an 
angler, not of a pretty girl (as the heathen use), on their signet- 
rings. Clemens may have been fond of fishing, or he may only 
have referred to the Apostles, who mostly used nets, though 
Peter, when he took a fish with a coin in its mouth, probably 
employed rod and line. 

After the Homeric age, the Greeks, at least in Attica, became 
a nation of citizens and town-keeping men. Attica was over- 
cultivated and over-populated 3 the Ilissus, no doubt, was 
fished out, and ground game became very scarce. There is, on 
a fine vase in the British Museum, a picture of a hare which 
has got inside a house, and is making a rush for a window. A 
man is in the act of throwing a huge stone at it, and a dog is 
after it ; but we can scarcely call this sport. Theocritus, in 
Sicily, talks of sticks for throwing at hares, and an epigram of 
the Anthology bids people * tell the bees ' how old Leucippus 
* perished in his hare hunting ' in winter. Probably he followed 
them by their singular tracks in the snow. Netting of boars, 
birds, and hares was very common, and is referred to by 
Horace. The ancients regarded the use of nets and snares as 
quite a sporting practice : we cannot expect much of demo- 
cratic republics- 

The city life to which the Greeks— at least the Greeks who 
have left a literature — were so prone made athletics take the 
room of sport. This is not the place for a discussion of Greek 
athletics. Everybody knows that the ancients delighted in 



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12 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

the Prize Ring, the boxers wearing heavily loaded gloves. 
Chariot races, foot-races for men and boys, wrestling, throwing 
the weight, and leaping were the main exercises. Of the times, 
naturally, we know nothing, and not very much of the distances, 
while training meant eating enormous quantities of beef. There 
was a regular craze for athletics, of which the philosophers 
complain, much as philosophers do still. The Greek physi- 
cian of the Persian king bragged prodigiously about having 
married a daughter of Milo, the celebrated bruiser, as we read 
in Herodotus. When the Souls choose a new earthly life 
in the Platonic Vision of Er, the soul of Atalanta chooses the 
lot of an athlete, because of the honours and rewards. For a 
boy to be made immortal in an Ode of Pindar, and to see 
his naked statue set up in Olympia, must have encouraged 
boundless conceit. A little place like Tanagra must have 
been unfit to live in where such a boy was swaggering. 
About all these things the Greeks were extremely boyish, and, 
as the philosophers thought, abundantly absurd. A Sophist 
ready to lecture on good and evil, and morals, and metaphysics, 
must have felt crushed when his audience went away to stare at 
a lad who had won the hundred yards at the Isthmus, or gained 
the wrestling prize * under fifteen.' Probably a great many 
talents changed hands over these affairs, and when Alcibiades 
entered a number of chariots, who could guess on which a man 
like him stood to win ? No doubt he * cleared out the Talent : * 
hence, perhaps, his sudden unpopularity in certain circles. No 
present was more esteemed by a sporting young Athenian blade 
than that of a gamecock or a fighting quail, and Socrates him- 
self was a patron of the cock-pit. Though we hear little of it 
(at least before the Byzantine Empire), doubtless there was a 
great deal of betting— and it would be very strange if the 
Greeks did not sell matches and races, but always played on 
the square. They had no cricket, of course, and to recognise 
golf in Catnbuca or anything else is hasty. Pila^ I take 
it, was more like tennis, or * balloon,' than football. Cicero 
and Maecenas played, and we cannot imagine Cicero in a 



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CLASSICAL SPORT 13 

scrummage, or Maecenas tackling Horace neatly on the goal 
line. The Phoenicians, in Homer, practised catching ' out i n 
the country,' and probably would have fielded well ; but we 
never hear of bats or wickets, while it would be difficult to 
find a decent pitch in rocky Ithaca. Even boxing was 
very unscientific, round blows were delivered at the ears ; but 
Polydeuces, in Theocritus, fought a neat battle with the 
Berbycian Big One, and there is some pretty fibbing in the 
-li^neid. The ladylike Virgil and the sweet Theocritus were 
obviously fond of the Fancy, and knew what they were writing 
about. * 

Pindar, on the other hand, was obviously bored by his 
task, and shirked the sporting details. It is as if JieiPs Life had 
evaded the actual facts in a set-to, and published a page of 
Smith's * Dictionary of Mythology.' Virgil and Theocritus were 
much better sportsmen, and much more intelligible poets. It 
is as if one were offered fi\Q pounds to celebrate Mr. G. O. 
Smith, and then wrote an ode on Hephaestus. This can 
scarcely have been satisfactory to a young winner, but such 
was Pindar's way. 

The best and most authoritative account of classical hunting 
i.s, doubtless, that given by Xenophon in his Cynegetica, 
Though an Athenian by birth, Xenophon loved the Spartans, 
who pursued the chase on Mount Taygetus. His delight 
was to be in military and sporting circles, despite his pleasure 
in the company of Socrates. He begins by proclaiming the 
lofty origin of sport : Apollo and Artemis are hunters : and 
he gives a list of sportsmen, as Theseus, Cephalus, and 
Odysseus, among the heroes. Hippolytus, a mighty hunter, 
was remarkable for his personal virtue — the Joseph of Greek 
tradition. Xenophon infers that hunting is a noble branch 
of education, for the chase (as Mr. Jorrocks also says) is the 
image of war, and the best training for soldiers. As soon as he 
ceases to be a child, a man should take to hunting. Xenophon 

* In an old Blackwood's MagazineWrgiXs boxing match is cleverly rendered 
into the slang of the ring, probably by Maginn. 



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14 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

then describes the making of nets, at some now needless 
length. Dogs he divides into Castorides (from Castor), and 
Alopekides, with a strain of the fox in their pedigree. He 
discusses the varieties of hounds, and their manners in 
hunting : some silent, some noisy, some wagging tails or ears, 
some * yelling like mad,' some staunch followers of a scent, 
some * with no nose,' some following false scents. Hare- 
hunting occupies Xenophon first. Men hunted on foot and 
used nets. In spring * they stinking violets ' spoil the scent 
(yi yri i$avOov<ra pXairr^i ra? icvva^, €is to avro (rvfjifjuyvvovcra. rtov 
dvOuiv Ta9 oo-yxa?). City folks are no sportsmen, Xenophon 
says, and you may not land dogs on sacred islands. Dusky 
corries, burn-sides, dells, glens are the best places for hunting. 
The light-clad pursuer only carries a club in hare- hunting, 
and had better move in silence. The dogs are tied up, the 
nets are set, a prayer is made, 'a hunting mass,' to Apollo 
and Artemis Agrotera, then the cleverest hound is slipped, 
and so the others. When the scent is once hit upon, the 
hounds are encouraged each by name : Ei*y€, cvyt, w klWs/ 
€vy€ ^v;(t;, €vy€ TiopBiav ! 

For hunting fawns and hinds, Indian dogs are used ; the 
hunters carry light throwing- spears. For w^ild boars, Indian, 
Cretan, Locrian hounds, and *the Spartan breed' are best. 
Lions, pards, panthers, and bears are onlv to be found in foreign 
parts and in Macedonia, though they were familiar to Homeric 
Greece. Xenophon ends by a vigorous defence of hunting. 
* Men who hunt are ready to defend their country in her greatest 
interests ; ' they are sportsmanlike^ true, and honest ; people 
who do not hunt are timid, lazy voluptuaries, .'the worst of 
men.' They can neither be just nor pious ; they are sophists, 
not real philosophers. Sportsmen are your only good citizens, 
and even women have attained renown by dint of hunting, as 
Atalanta and Procris. 

These are very English reflections. Xenophon's is a pro- 
test against a purely urban life, an existence of pleasure, 
lawsuits, * culture,' politics, and 'hearing or telling some new 



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CLASSICAL SPORT 15 

thing/ as St. Luke has it. Sport keeps alive the original, 
wholesome barbarian in our nature, as it did, he confessed, in 
the apostle of culture — in Matthew Arnold. But * sport ' does 
not mean betting on horses, nor looking on at billiard matches. 
The labour and toil of sport endear it to Xenophon, that illus- 
trious commander, the most English of the Athenians. Horace, 
we know, preached the same doctrine, but Horace would have 
cut a poor figure if confronted with a boar at bay, or obliged 
to crawl through crag and bog after a stag. Sport is best when 
most natural, and least accompanied by hot luncheons. Xeno- 
phon would have despised, not unjustly, the luxuries of many 
modern marksmen who have a name to be sportsmen, * falsely 
so-called.' He would rather have esteemed the hardy hunter, 
and the pursuer of big game m Asia and Africa. The experi- 
ence of Greece proved that athletics are no substitute for the 
life of unexpected dangers and sudden resolutions on hillsides 
and among pards and boars. But the increase of population, 
as in modern days, narrowed the field of sport, and heightened 
the enthusiasm for running and jumping, as now for those ex- 
cellent pastimes, cricket, football, and rowing. Of these foot- 
ball would have been most to the austere taste of Xenophon. 

These brief notes on classical sport would be incomplete 
without some remark on the manner in which ancient hunting 
reflected itself in poetry. The poets whose works have reached 
us were not sportsmen themselves, but would appreciate the 
charm of the chase, in wild woods and hills, when pursued by 
Artemis and her maiden band of archers. They were inte- 
rested in the fate of *one Acton,' as Squire Western calls 
Actaeon, and perceived the charm of a pursuit which might 
bring the hunter into view of wood-nymphs bathing. Thus, 
as a Pompeian painter designs a Nereid in place of drawing a 
river or a fountain, so, in place of a description of a chase (as 
in * The Lady of the I^ke '), the poet gives his line to Artemis 
and her maidens, speeding along the summit of Taygetus 
or Erymanthus. Details are avoided ; we have no Somervile, 
no Scott, no Dennys, among the poets of (ireece. Nature 



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i6 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



and the chase assume a * theanthropic ' form, to the disregard 
of detail of landscape : in accordance with the prevailing 
principles of Greek art. Detail, particular description, had to 
wait for the northern and mediaeval poets and romancers. For 
these reasons our knowledge of classical sport is meagre and 
general. A more special picture occurs in the passage on the 
death of the boar, in Mr. Swinburne's * Atalanta in Calydon.' 
After Homer the Greek poets were men of the alcove, the 
market-place, the theatre, as were many of our own writers, 
between Shakspeare and Scott. The sporting races, as in 
Thessaly and Sparta, were not literary : the poets of Boeotia 
were few, and references to the chase, as a rule, deal in a 
somewhat conventional way with the characters of the remote 
heroic age. 




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INTRODUCTION TO SPORTING EXTRACTS 

Before introducing readers to Sporting Songs and Ballads, it 
will be interesting to look at some of the allusions to sport 
found scattered through the works of our English poets and 
verse-writers. To one who is only acquainted with the names 
of some fifty or sixty of these the labour of selection may 
appear easy, and the fear of omitting anything of interest 
slight ; but if it be remembered that for every well-known 
author we have ten but little known, the difficulty of the under- 
taking will be better realised. In fact, the limit of research 
must, in all such cases, be determined by the conscientiousness 
of the workers. 

There are about 1,800,000 books to be found in the British 
Museum ; how many of these contain verse in one form or 
another is a question that must be left for some future biblio- 
maniac to discover. We should roughly estimate them between 
a quarter and half a million, and yet the works of at least a 
sixth of the older minor poets are not to be found there. It is, 
moreover, not safe to take for granted that it is easy to decide 
who is or who is not likely to write on sporting subjects. The 
reader would hardly have expected to find a hunting song by 
Bishop Heber, yet one of the best in this collection was written 
by him. Verily the ways of poets are past understanding, and 
the number of verse- writers who can calculate ! 

In making the following collection of extracts we have 
had three objects chiefly in view — the excellence of the verse, 

c 

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j8 the poetry f of SPORT 

the accuracy of description, and the historical interest. Any 
piece has been included which marks the changes of sport, 
either in spirit, manner, or costume, thereby enabling the 
reader to gain considerable information on the subject which 
he might find much difficulty in acquiring elsewhere. To 
carry out this object further,, a considerable number of plates 
copied from little-known ancient paintings and engravings have 
been included. These will l^e found to illustrate far better 
and more accurately than any modern work the customs and 
costumes of the various times, and help to explain many 
allusions which might otherwise be more or less unintelligible. 

In dealing with English verse it is fortunately only neces- 
sary to go back about fis^ hundred years. Before the time of 
Chaucer there is little or nothing of poetical interest to be 
found. The printing press had not brought either its blessing 
or its^curse, and songs of excellence, if such there were, must 
have perished or lived only as memory preserved them in a 
mangled form. It is more than probable that many early 
writers have received credit for much that was not their own 
and which they never wished to appropriate. An instance of 
this is doubtless to be found in the first printed hunting song 
found in the *Boke of St. Albans' and attributed to Dame 
Juliana Berners. Fiction has been allov/ed to play some 
liberal freaks with this lady's histor)% which doubtless would 
amuse her greatly if she could only read them, one writer 
after another having piled up tales of imagination and given 
them forth as facts, till anyone who so wishes can read quite a 
thrilling history of the Hunting Abbess. Not one word., how- 
ever, of this romance appears to be founded on even a ground- 
work of truth, and the world is indebted to Mr. William Blades 
for having finally exploded this iridescent bubble. 

In his introduction to the reprint, 1881, of the 'Boke of 
St. Albans,' after giving a most interesting account of how 
history is manufactured, he concludes with this verdict : — 

* What is really known of the Dame is almost nothing, and 
may be summed up in the following words. She probably 



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INTRODUCTION TO SPORTING EXTRACTS 19 

lived at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and she possibly 
compiled from existing manuscripts some rhymes on Hunting.' 

Strutt thinks, and most likely correctly, that the * Boke of 
St. Albans is compiled from a tract by William Twici or Twety, 
huntsman to King Edward II., or from an enlargement of the 
same by Henry IV., for the use of his son Prince Henry. 
Anyway, it is evidently a school-book, so written that a pupil 
whilst learning to read might at the same time become familiar 
with the terms of venery. 

It would be out of place to give more than an extract or 

two from this doggerel, which is only of value for certain 

allusions to sport, such as the following description of a 

greyhound : — 

A grehounde shulde be heded like a snake, 

And necked like a drake, 

Foted like a kat, 

Tayled like a rat, 

Sydd like a teme, 

Chyned ' like a beme.*^ 

Tfu Boke of St. Albans, i486. 

We find here, also, the names of beasts of sport divided 
into three classes : ist, venery ; 2nd, chase ; 3rd, raskall From 
which it will be seen that the fox was considered a beast of 
chase at that time. 

Foure maner bestys of venery there are : 

The first of theym is the hert, the secunde is the hare, 

The bore is oon of tho, the wolff and not oon moo. 

And where that ye cum in playne or in place, 

I shall you tell which be bestys of enchace, 

Oon of thym is the bucke, a nother is the Doo. 

The fox and the martion and the wilde roo, 

And ye shall my dere chylde other bestys all 

Where so ye hem fynde rascall ye shall hem call. 

Tke Boke of St. Albans, i486. 

Some \\Titers have stated that foxhunting as a recognised 
sport was of much later date, but we have the authority of 
William Twici that the fox was classed with the buck, the doe, 
and the roe in Edward II.'s time. 

1 Backed. > V. I. breme. 

c 2 



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20 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

In the fourteenth century hunting was a very popular sport 
with ladies, and if we are to credit the illustrated manuscripts 
of the date, these sporting dames were quite capable of making 
up parties by themselves, of blowing the horns, managing the 
hounds, and doing all the work of huntsmen. In these cases 
they rode astride, but when accompanying the men it seems to 
have been more usual for them to sit sideways in a pillion 
behind their favourite knights. What the unfortunate horse 
thought of this latter arrangement history does not relate, but 
from the engravings the horses seem to have had pretty broad 
backs, and resemble slightly melted-down cart-horses. 

Lydgate (1370- 1440), who wrote about the close of this 
century, gives * A satirical description of his Lady : ' — 

Of huntyng she beryth the greet pryse, 
For buk or doo, bothe herts and hynde ; 
But whan she dotyth and wyl be nyse, 
Maale deer to chaase and to fynde, 
That can hym feede on bark or rynde, 
And in hire park pasturyd been. 
That weels can beere ^ with a tynde,^ 
Under hire daggyd ' hood of green. 

Harl. MS. 2255. 

The importance attached to the training of youths in all 
field sports is frequently alluded to, as in the following frag- 
ment taken from a romance written at this period, and called 
* Ipomydon.' Speaking of the education of the king's son, the 
writer says : — 

Both of howndes and hawkes game 
After, he taught hym all ; and same 
In se, in feld, and eke in ryvere. 
In wodde to chase the wild dere 
And in feld to r>'de a stede 
That all men had joy of hys dede. 

Harl. MS. 2252. Strutt copy. 

That hunting and hawking were necessities as well as 
amusements in these days is also shown in the following lines 
by W. J. Langland, written about 1360 : — 

> thrust. » tine of the horns. ' notched at the edges. 

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INTRODUCTION TO SPORTING EXTRACTS 21 

And go hunt, hardely, to hares and to foxes, 
To bores and to brocks ' that breken adowne my hedges ; 
And go affayte '* the Fawcons, wilde fowles to kyll, 
For such Cometh to my croft, and cropeth mi whete. 

Vision of Piers Plowman, 1550. 

In this same book are some lines on swimming, perhaps the 
oldest that have been printed. They point out the importance 
of learning the art, and it would be well if the same lesson 
could be impressed more on men and women in our own time : — 

Take two stronge men and in Temes cast hem. 

And both naked as a nedle, ther non sikerer than other ; ^ 

The one hath cunnynge and can swymme and dyve, 

The other is lewd * of ye labour, lemed never to swym, 

Which trowest ye of those two, in Temese is most in dred. 

He that never dived ne nought can of swymmyng. 

Or the swymer that is safe, be so himself like ? 

There hys felow flete forth, as the flowd liketh 

And is in dread to drench, that never did swymme. 

Vision of Piers Plomman, 1550. 

In Chaucer's * Canterbury Tales,' as in other of his works, 
we find endless references to sport, chiefly hunting and 
hawking \ but few of them are of sufficient length or interest to 
quote without the context. In a time when no man of con- 
sequence travelled without his hawk and hounds, it would be 
surprising if we did not come upon a number of such lines as 

these : — 

Ne what hawkes sytten on perchen above, 
Ne what houndes lyggen on the flour adoun. 

They were, no doubt, suggested by seeing a nobleman and 
his guests seated at table, their hawks being placed upon 
perches over their heads, and their hounds lying on the 
pavement round them. He frequently also rebukes the monks 
for being better skilled in hunting and hawking than in 
divinity, and caring more for blowing the horn than the 
service of God. It is strange to think that Sydenham Hill and 
Norwood were at this time the private hunting preserve of the 



badgers. "^ get ready, 

neither Stifer than the other. ^ unskilled. 

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22 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Archbishops of Canterbury, and it is more than likely that 
where the Crystal Palace now stands Thomas a Becket (who 
was a keen sportsman) may often have killed the wild boar 
after an exciting run. 

Later on will be found an extract from *The Dream of 
Chaucer,' which is full of interest to sportsmen, and in which 
he gives a most graphic description of a wood : - 

Where many an hart | and many an hynde 
Was bothe before me and behynde. 
Of fawnes | sowers ' | bukes | does 
Was ful the wodde | & many roes. 

The Works of Geffray Chaucer, 1532. 

In the present day, when it is often so difficult to find 
animals to hunt that in despair we are sometimes reduced 
to following the trail of that quickest of all scents, a drag, it is 
tantalising to read of such abundance even in a dream. Our 
sleep is more likely to be disturbed by the vision of a great 
blank. 

This superabundance of game is noticeable in all the 
old sporting prints ; in the oldest the hunted seemed often 
to outnumber the hunters, and it must have been a sad trouble 
to the huntsman of those times to avoid frequent changes of 
scent, if he ever troubled his mind on the subject, which is 
doubtful. These pictures must not be taken too literally, for 
the artists of those times were evidently anxious to get in as 
much subject-matter as possible, and often introduced two or 
three separate hunts in the same picture. 

It is, however, very evident that in those days game was 
exceedingly plentiful, and the shorter the run the better pleased 
were both footmen and riders. Neither were the horses and 
hounds fitted for a modern burst. What we should term in 
the present day most unsportsmanlike methods of limiting the 
victim's chance were employed — traps, nets, and spears, as 
well as the more deadly crossbow, being freely used. In fact, 
these practices seem to have more or less continued up to the 

' bucks in the fourth vedr. 



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INTRODUCTION TO SPORTING EXTRACTS 23 

time of James I., for in writing a set of rules for his eldest son, 
Henry, Prince of Wales, he says : — 

* I cannot omit here the hunting, namely, with running 
houndes, which is the most honourable and noblest sort 
thereof ;• for it is a theivish forme of hunting to shoote with 
gunnes and bowes ; and greyhound hunting is not so martial 
a game.' 

It is very difficult fully to realise the sporting life of this 
time, when books were few, and those who could read them 
even fewer ; when there was as great a dearth of amuse- 
ment as of comfort in the home, and men revelled in exercise 
of all kinds, but chiefly in such as was accompanied with 
excitement and danger, we can fancy what horror they must 
have felt for enforced inaction. A short poem written by 
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, while he was imprisoned in 
Windsor, strikingly shows this. It was composed shortly before 
his execution, which took place on January 19, 1547 ; and as 
we read it we can fancy that the sound of the horn must have 
reached him in his solitude, and that his thoughts had thus 
been drawn back to the. days of freedom, when he, too, was 
one of the merry huntsmen : — 

Prisoned in Windsor^ he recounteih his pleasure there passed. 

With silver droppes the meade yet spred for ruth. 
In active games of niniblenes and strength, 
Where we did straine, trained with swarmes of youth, 
Our tender limmes, that yet shot up in length : 
The secret groves, which oft we made resound 
Of pleasaunt plaint, and of our ladies praise. 
Recording oft what grace eche one had found, 
What hope of spede, what dread of long delaies : 
The wilde forest, the clothed holtes with grene : 
With rains availed, and swift ybreathed horse, 
With crie of houndes, and mery Wastes betwene, 
Where we did chase the fearfull hart of force. 
Howard (Henry), Kakt. of Surrky, Songcs and Somttes, 1557. 

In 1570 was printed Turbervile's * Book of Hunting and 
Hawking,' one of the most interesting works that we possess 
on ancient sport. One of the illustrations is reproduced on 



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24 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

page 287. This work is of considerable value, and very scarce 
in a complete form, even the second edition (161 1) being 
much prized by collectors. It contains a good deal of verse, 
some of which will be found in its place. The following is a 
short example of his style : — 

Of a Hare complaining of the hatred of Dogs 

The senting Houndes pursude 

the hastie Hare of foote ; 
The sielie Beast to scape the Dogs 

did jumpe upon a roote. 
The rotten scrag it burst, 

from Cliffe to seas he fell : 
Then cride the Hare : unhappie mee, 

for now perceive 1 well 
Both lande and Sea pursue 

and hate the hurdesse Hare : 
And eake the dogged Skies aloft, 

if so the Dog be thare. 

GK(i. TrRBKkViLK, Epitaphs, &.c. 1570. 

When we come to the works of Spenser, we find a great 
number of allusions to sport, many of which are both 
interesting and beautiful. His * Faerie Queene,' rich in illustra- 
tions drawn from sporting subjects, gives, among many others, 
the three following on hunting, hawking, and fishing : — 

As gentle Hynd, whose sides with cruell Steele 
Through lanched,' forth her bleeding life does raine 
Whiles the sad pang approching she does feele 
Braies out her latest breath, and up her eies doth seele. 

Herselfe not saved yet from daunger dredd 

She thought, but chaung'd fi-om one to other feare 
Like as a fearefull partridge, that is fledd 
From the sharpe hauke which her attacked neare 
And fals to ground to seeke for succor theare, 
Whereas the hungry Spaniells she does spye 
With greedy jawes her ready for to teare. 

That he descryde and shonned still his flight 
The fish that once was caught new bayt will hardly byte. 

Tfu: Faerie Qucency by Edmund Spenskr, 1590-96. 

^ pierced. 

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* The sielie beast to scape the dogs 
did jumpe upon a roote." 



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INTRODUCTION TO SPORTING EXTRACTS 25 

Though woven into his story, his illustrations, even when 
severed from it, are often gems of art ; and as they combine 
close observation with metrical excellence, a few of them will 
be included further on among his longer extracts. 

Among the *Satyres' of John Marston, printed in 1598, there 
is one which will be of interest to every master of hounds who 
is not already acquainted with it, showing, as it does, that the 
expense of keeping a pack was as serious in its way three 
hundred years ago as now. 

Satvre 4 

The harniles hunter, with a ventrous eye 
When unawares he did Diana spie 
Nak'd in the fountaine, he became straightway 
Unto his greedy hounds a wished pray, 
His owne delights taking away his breath, 
' And all ungratefull forc'd his fatall death. 

(And ever since Hounds eate their Maisters cleane, 
For so Diana curst them in the streame). 

John Marston, The Metamorphosis of Piginalion s Image 
and Cfftaine Sa tyres, 1598. 

We now come to the time of Shakspeare. His writings 
are full of scenes taken from various sports, similes drawn 
from the same source, and endless references to the subject. 
The work of selection is made in his case more than usually 
difficult by the weaving and interweaving of alien subjects ; 
this, whilst it adds greatly to the interest of the plays them- 
selves, makes many of his writings unsuitable for quotation in 
a work of this kind. 

The extracts that appear of most interest will be found 
in their place here. It may be mentioned that it is almost 
impossible to make any arbitrary divisions in this book ; our 
object has been in this first part to confine attention to extracts 
which it would be a pity to omit, but which are, nevertheless, 
obviously incomplete in themselves. 

Perhaps at no time in our history did the spirit of sport 
hold such power as at the close of the sixteenth century. Ben 
Jonson makes one of his characters say, * Why you know an a 



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26 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

man have not skill in the hawking and hunting languages now 
a dayes, I'll not give a rush for him. They are more studied 
then the Greeke, or the Latine.' He also in another place 
sharply reproves those who (to alter the quotation slightly) : - - 

Excuse the faults they have a mind to 
And turn to sins the joys they're blind to. 

*■ Nor cast/ he says to such, 

* Before your hungry hearers, scrupulous bones 
As whether a christian may hawke or hunt.' 

The Alchemist. 1612. 

But our own hungry readers may begin to think that we are 
casting before them too many introductory bones ; and, find- 
ing them rather tough, are desirous of the more satisfactory 
extracts awaiting their attention. If among these some should 
be found seemingly unworthy of reproduction, a further ex- 
amination may show the reason for their inclusion. 

It would have been interesting to make use of the material 
before us for the purpose of writing a short history on the 
growth of sport, but it will be obvious that such temptation 
must be avoided, not only on account of the limitation of 
space, but also because too frequent notes and comments 
become, as before said, wearisome. If a work of this kind is 
arranged with care, it should speak for itself, and, with the help 
of the illustrations (which have been produced by the most 
accurate and skilful artists of their time), there should be 
little difficulty in calling up the forgotten pictures of the past — 
in living, for the time being, in those bygone days when 
sport was more a necessity and less simply an amusement ; 
when the wild forest was often as Nature planted it, and if there 
were few well-trimmed hedges, there were at least no barbed- 
wire fences ; when a railway was not even a dream of the 
imagination, and if the horses and hounds were slow, the game 
was plentiful and varied ; whilst no small part of the huntsman's 
pleasure was doubtless the thought of the haunch of venison 
that would be enjoyed on some future day. 



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INTRODUCTION TO SPORTING EXTRACTS 27 

Following out the purpose which the Editor of the 
Badminton Library has chiefly in view — viz. the advancement 
of modem English sport — little space has been devoted to any 
obsolete pastime, but now and again, where any pieces on the 
subject seemed of singular merit, they have been included. 

The reader may also notice omissions of certain well-known 



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pieces, notably in the selections from such a writer as Somervile, 
who has been fitly termed the sportsman poet. It is obvious 
that to have included all his writings on sport would have been 
beyond the limit of space, even had it seemed prudent. The 
same omissions in a less degree may be observed in many other 
cases, as it has been our object only to choose the best from 
each writer. 



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28 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



The earlier extracts may possibly, on account of their 
quaint spelling and phraseology, appeal less as poetry to the 
general reader than those taken from later writers ; but what 
may be lost on this account will be amply compensated for by 
the historical interest attached to them ; and, considering the 
ignorance that is too often shown on the earlier history of 
this subject, it has seemed advisable to spare no pains to throw, 
if it be but a few, additional sparks of light on a matter of so 
great general interest. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 



Dyana and Acceon 

This Acceon, as he wel myght, 

Above al other cast his chere/ 

And used it from yere to yere, 

With houndes & with grete homes 

Among the wodes & the thornes 

To make his huntyng & his chace. 

Where hym best thought in every place 

To fynde game in his way, 

Ther rood he for to hunte & play. 

So hym byfelle upon a tyde 

On his huntyng as he cam ryde 

In a forest allone he was. 

He sawe upon the grene gras 

The fayre fressh floures sprynge ; 

He herd among the leves synge 

The throstel with the nyghtyngale. 

Thus er he wyst in to a dale 

He cam wher was a lytel pleyne 

Al round about wel beseyn 

With busshes grene & cedres hyghe ; 

And ther within he caste his eye. 

A myddes the pleyne he sawe a welle 

So fayr ther myght no man telle, 

In whiche Dyana naked stood 

To bathe & play hyr in the flood 

With many a nimphe which her serveth 

But he his eye awey ne suerveth. 

Fro her whiche was naked al. 

And she was wonder wroth with al, 



put his delight 



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30 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

And hym, as she whiche was goddesse 
Forshoop * anone & the lykenesse 
She made hym take of an herte 
Whiche was to fore his hoQdes sterte, 
That ronne besylyche ^ aboute 
With many an home & many a route 
That maden moche noyse & crye. 
And at the last unhappelye 
This hert his owne houdes slough, 
And hym for vengeauce al to drough. ' 

John Gower, Confessio Amantis, 1483. Caxton. 

From * The Dreame of Chaucer ' 



And as I lay thus, wonder lowde 
Me thought I herde an hunte blowe 
Tassay * his great home | and for to knowe 
Whether it was clere | or horse of sowne. 

And I herde goynge bothe up and downe, 
Men I horse | houndes | and other thynge ; 
And al men speke of huntynge, 
Howe they wolde see the harte with strength, 
And howe the harte had upon length 
So moche enbosed *' | I not nowe what. 
Anone ryght whan I herde that 
Howe that they wolde , on hunt>Tige gone, 
I was ryght glad { and up anone 
Toke my horse | and forthe I wente 
Out of my chambre | I never stente 
Tyl I come to the felde without. 
There over toke I a grete route 
Of hunters | and eke of foresters. 
And many relayes " and lymers ^ 
And hyed hem to the forest fast 
And I with hem | so at the last 
I asked one ladde** | a lymere : — 
Say felowe I who shal hunte here 
(Quod I) and he answered ayen, 

Syr I the Emperour Octonyen 
(Quod he) and is here fast by 

A goddes halfe® | in good tyme. (quod I) 
Go we fast | and gan to ryde. 
Whan we come to the forest syde 
Every man dyd ryght soone 
As to huntynge fel to done. 

1 Transformed. * busily. ' tore to pieces. 

-» To try. * Taken to the thicket. •* fresh packs. 

7 hounds held in leash. ' one who led. » By Goa's name. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The mayster hunte | anone fote hote 
With his home blewe thre mote 
At the uncoupl>Tige of his houndes. 
Within a whyle | the harte founde is 
I halowed * | and rechased fast 
Longe tyme | and so at the last 
This harte roused and stale away 
Fro al the houndes a prevy way. 

The houndes had over shot hym al, 
And were upon a defaulte yfal. w 

Therwith the honte | wonder faste 
Blewe a forloyn ' at the laste. 
I was go walked fro my tre 
And as I went | there came by me 
A whelpe | that fawned me as I stoode 
That had yfolowed | and coude no goode. 
It came and crepte to me as lowe 
Right as it had me yknowe » 

Helde down his heed ! and ioyned his eeres 
And layde al smothe downe his heeres. 

I wolde have caught it anone 
It fledde | and was fro me gone 
As I him folowed | and it forthe went. 
Downe by a floury grene it went 
Ful thycke of grasse [ ful softe and swete 
With floures fele * | fay re under fete, 
And lytel used | it semed thus 
For bothe Flora | and zepherus. 
They two j that make floures growe. 
Had made her dwellyng there I trowe. 
Vox it was on to beholde 
As though the erthe envye wolde 
To be gayer than the heven 
To have mo floures | suche seven 
As in the welken sterres be. 
It had forget the poverte 
That wynter | through his colde morowes 
Had made it suffre | and his snrowes. 
Al was foryeten | and that was sene 
For al the woode was woven grene 
Swetnesse of dewe I had made it wave.* 

It is no nede eke for to ave ' 
Where there were many grene greves 
Of thycke of trees | so ful of leves. 
And every tree stode by him selve 
F'ro other | wel ten foote or twelve. 
So great trees | so huge of strength 

View-hallooed. * recall. ' many. ♦ V.L waxe. * /'./. axe. 

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SPORTING EXTRACTS 33 

Of fourty or fyfty fedome length 

Cleane without bowe or stycke 

With croppes brode | and eke as thycke — 

They were not an ynche a sonder — 

That it was shadde over al under. 

And many an hart { and many an hynde 

Was bothe before me | and behynde, 

Of fawnes | sowers * | buckes | does 

Was ful the wodde | and many roes. 

And many squyrrels | that sete 

Ful hygh upon the trees and ete 

And in her maner made feestes. 

Shortly | it was so ful of beestes 

That though Argus | the noble countour 

Sate to reken in his countour 

And reken with his fygures ten — 

For by tho fygures newe al ken - 

If they be crafty | reken and nombre 

And tel of every thyng the nombre — 

Yet shulde he fayle to reken even 

The wonders me met in my sweven.' 

The Works of Geffray Chaucer, 1532. 

From ' Canterbury Tales ' 

A monk ther was, fair for the maistre, 

Whiche afore that tyme hadde he 

An out ryder, he loved venore ; 

A manly man to be an abbot able. 

Ful many a deynte hors hadde he in stabil ; 

And when he wod men mighte his bridil here 

Gyngelynge & whistelinge in the wynd clere. 

Grehoundis he hadde as mylk whit ; 

Of prykynge and of huntynge for the hare 

Was al his lust, for no thing wolde he spare. 

Chauckr. Caxton, 1478 (?) 

From ' The Knyghtes Tale ' 

The destenye and the mynister generall 
That executeth in the worlde over all 
The purveyaunce | y' god hath sayd byfome, 
So strog it is | y* thogh y« world had sworn 
The contrary of thyng by ye or nay 

' bucks in the fourth year. ' people. ^ dream. 

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34 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Yet somtyme it shall fall on a day 

That fell never yet in a thousande yere. 

For certaynly our appetytes here 

Be it of warre | peace | hate | or love 

All is ruled by the syght above. 

This meane I nowe by mighty Theseus 

That for to hunte is so desyrous, 

And namely at the great harte in May 

That in his bed there daweth him no day 

That he nys * clad | and redy for to ryde 

With hunt and home | and houndes him besyde. 

For in his huntyng hath he suche delyte 

That it is all his ioye and appetyte 

To ben him selfe the great hartes bane, 

For after Mars | he serveth nowe Dyane. 

Clere was the day I as I have tolde or this 
And Theseus | with all ioye and blys 
With his Ipolita | the fayre quene 
And Emely | yclothen all in grene 
An huntyng ben they rydden ryally. 
And to the grove | that stode there fast by 
In which ther was an harte | as me him told 
Duke Theseus the streyght way hath hold. 
And to the launde * | he rydeth him full ryght 
For thy J was y* hart wot to have his flight 
And over a broke | and so forthe on his wey. 

Tfu Canterbury Tales,' i^^l^. 

From ' Syr Eglamoure of Artoys ' 

He tolde me and my maydens' hende"* 

That he to the ryver wolde wende 

With houndes and haukes ryght. 

The erle sayde so mote I the * 

With him wyll I ryde that syght to se. 

On the morowe whan it was daye 

Syr Eglamoure toke the waye 

To the ryver full ryght. 

The erle made hym redy there 

And both they rode to the rive re 

To se some fayre flyght. 

Syr yf you be on huntynge founde 
I shall you gyve a good greyhounde 
That is dunne as a doo. 
For as I am a trewe gentylwoman 

^ is not. ^ fores*. •' courteously. 

* so may I prosper. * fond. 



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SPORT/A G EXTRACTS 35 

There was never dere that he at ran 
That myght scape him fro. 

His home he blewe in that tyde. 
Hartes rose up on every syde 
, And a noble dere fulprest.* 

[The houndes at the dere gan baye 
That herde the gyaunt where he laye 

It let hym of his reste. 
t Methynketh by houndes that I here 

' That there is one huntynge my dere 

It were better that ye seace. 
j By hym that ware the crowne of thome 

I In a worse tyme blewe he never borne 

I Nederer bought ' a messe. 

Marrocke the gyaunt toke the waye 

Throughe the forest there it laye. 

To the gate he set his backe 

Syr Eglamoure hath done to deed 

Slayne an harte, and smytten of his heed. 

The pryce ' he blewe full shryll, 

And whan he came there, the gyaunt was. 
' Good syr he sayd, let me passe 

If that it be your wyll. 

Naye traytoure thou art tane 

My pryncipall hart thou hast slayne 

Thou shalt it lyke full yll. 

Syr eglamoure that knight awoke 

And pryvely stode under an oke 

Tyll morowe the sonne shone bryght. 

Into the forest fast did he hye 

Of the bore he hard a crye 

And nerer he gan gone ryght. 

Fayre helmes he founde in fere 

That men of armes had lefte there 

That the bore had slayne. 

Eglamoure to the clyffe went he 

He sawe the bore, come fro the see 

His mome draught had he tane. 

The bore sawe, where the knyght stode. 

His tuskes he whetted as he were wode.* 

To hym he drewe that tyme. 

Syr Eglamoure wened well to do 

With a Speare he rode him to 

As fast as he myght ryde. 



1 at once. ' More needfully =^ he were Jjetter buy. 

» capture call on the bugle. * mad. 

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36 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

All yf he rode never so fast 
The good speare asonder brast 
It wolde not in the hyde. 
That bore dyd him wo ynoughe 
His good horse uncier him he sloughe 
On foote than must he byde. 
Eglamoure sawe no bote * that tyde 
But to an oke he set his syde 
Amonge the trees great. 
His good swerde he drewe out than 
And smote upon the wylde swyne 
Two dayes and somdele * more. 
Tyll the thyrde daye at none 
Eglamoure thought his life was done 
For fyghtynge with that bore. 
Than Eglamoure with eger mocde 
Smote of the bores heed 
His tuskes he smote of there. 
The kynge of Satyn on huntynge dyd fare 
With fyftene armed men and moare 
The bore loude herde he yell. 
He commaunded a squyer to fare. 
Some man is in peryl there 
I trowe to longe we dwell. 
No longer wolde the squyer tary 
But thyder rode fast by saynt mary, 
He was therto fullsnell.^ 
Up to the clyffe rode he thore 
Syr Eglamoure fought fast with the bore 
With strokes fyers and fell. 
The squyer stode and behelde them two 
• He went agayne and tolde so 
Forsoth the bore is slayne. 

(1570?) 

From * The Squyr of Lowe Degre ' 

To morowe ye shall on hunting fare 
And ryde, my doughter, in a chare. 

A lese of Grehound with you to streke 

and hert and hynde and other lyke. 

Ye shal be set at such a tryst 

that herte and hynde shall come to your fyst, 

your dysease to dryve you fro. 

To here the bugles there y blow 

* help. ' some part. s fuji quickly. 

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SPORTING EXTRACTS 37 

With theyr bugles in that place, 

And sevenscore raches * at his rechase. 

Homward thus shall ye ryde 

On haukyng by the ryvers syde 

with Goshauke and with gentyll fawcon 

With Eglehome * and merlyon. 

Farewell hawkes and farewell hounde 
Farewell markes and many a pounde 
Farewell huntynge at the hare 
Farewell harte and hynde for evermare. 

(1550?) 

George Gascoigne, in commendation 
of the noble Arte of Venerie 

As God himselfe declares, the life of man was lent, 
Bicause it should (with feare of him) in gladsome wise be spent. 

And Salomon doth say, that all the rest is vaine, 
Unlesse that myrth and merie cheere, may follow toile and paine. 

If that be so in deede, what booteth then to buylde 
High towers & halles of stately port, to leave an unknown child. 

Or wherefore hoord we heapes of coyne and worldly wealth, 
Whiles therwithall that caytif care, conies creeping in by stelth ? 

The needie neighbors grudge to see the rychman thr>'ve. 
Such malice worldly mucke doth breede m every man alyve. 

Contention commes by coyne, and care doth contecke * sew. 
And sodeine death by care is caught, all this you know is true. 

Since death is then the end, which all men seeke to flye. 
And yet are all men well aware, that Man is borne to dye. 

Why leade not men such lives, in quiet comely wise, 
As might with honest sport & game, their worldly minds suffise? 

Amongst the rest, that game, which in this booke is taught 
Doth seeme to yeld as much content, as may on earth be sought. 

And but my simple Muze, both myrth and meane mistake. 
It is a meane of as much mirth, as any sport can make. 

It occupies the mynde, which else might chaunce to muse 
On mischiefe, malice, filthe and fraudes, that mortall men do use. 

And so for exercise, it seemes to beare the bell, 
Since by the same, mens bodies be, in health mamteyned well. 

It exercyseth strength, it exercyseth wit, 
And all the poars and sprites of Man, are exercisde by it. 

It shaketh off all slouth, it presseth downe all pryde. 
It cheres the hart, it glads the eye, & through the ears doth glyde. 

I might at large expresse how earely huntsmen ryse, 
And leave the sluggish sleepe for such, as leachers lust devyse. 

* bitch-hounds. ' ? heron eagle = peregrine. ^ quarrelling. 



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3« THE POETRY OF SPORT i 

How true they tread their steps, in exercises traine, 
Which frisking flings & lightbraind leaps, may seeme always to 
staine. 

Howe appetite is bred (with health) in homely cates. 
While Surfet sits in vaine excesse, & Banquet breeds debates. 

How cries of well niouthd hounds, do countervail the cost, ( 

Which many a* man (beyond his reach) on instruments hath lost ■ 

How setting of Relayes, may represent the skyll, ] 

Which souldiours use in Embushes, their furious foes to kyll. 

How Foxe and Badgerd both, make patterns (in their denne) 
Of Plotformes^ Loopes^ and CasamatSy devisde by warlike men. 

How fighting out at Bay, of Hart, Bucke, Goate, or Bore, ' 

Declares the valiant Romains deaths when might may do no more. 

How sight of such delights, doth scome all common showes, 
Of Enterludes, of Tumblers tricks, of antikes, mocks & mowes. ] 

And how the nimble Hare, by turning in hir course, 
Doth plainly proue that Pollicie, sometime surpasseth force. 

The Venson not forgot, most meete for Princes dyshe : 
All these with more could I rehearse, as much as wit could wyshe. 

But let these few suffice, it is a Noble Sporty ' 

To recreate the mindes of Men^ in good and godly sort. i 

A sport for Noble peeres^ a sport for gentle bloods ^ 
The paine I leave for servants such, as beate the bushie woods, ^ 

To make their masters sport. Then let the Lords reioyce^ \ 

Let gentlemen beholde the glee ^ and take thereof the choyce. 

For my part (being one) I must needes say my minde, 
That Hunting was ordeyned firsts for Men of Noble kinde. 

And unto them therefore, I recommend the same. 
As exercise that best becomes, their worthy noble name. ^ 

The Noble Arte of Venerie or Hunting. Georgk: Turbkkvilk. 1575. 

The Blazon pronounced by the Huntsman 

I Am the Hunte, whiche rathe and earely ryse, ' 

(My bottell filde, with wine in any wise) ^ 

Twoo draughts 1 drinke, to stay my steppes withall, 

For eche foote one, bicause I would not fall. 

Then take my Hownde, in liam '^ me behinde. 

The stately Harte, in fryth or fell to finde. ^ 

And whiles I seeke his slotte where he hath fedde. 

The sweete byrdes sing, to cheare my drowsie hedde. 

And when my Hounde, doth streyne upon good vent, 

I must confesse, the same dothe me content. 

But when I have my coverts walkt aboute, 

And harbred ^ fast, the Harte for commyng out : 

1 traps. * leash. ^ set watchers. i 

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SPORTING EXTRACTS 39 

Then I retume, to make a grave reporte, 
Whereas I finde, th' assembly doth resorte. 
And lowe I crouche, before the Lordings all, 
Out of my Home, the fewmets * lette I fall, 
And other signes, and tokens do I tell, 
To make them hope, the Harte may like them well. 
Then they commaunde, that I the wine should taste, 
So biddes mine Arte : and so my throte I baste. 
The dinner done, I go streightwayes agayne. 
Unto my markes, and shewe my Master playne. 
Then put my Hounde, upon the view to drawe, 
And rowse the Harte, out of his layre by la we. 
O gamsters all, a little by your leave. 
Can you suche ioyes in triflyng games conceave ? 
The Noble Arte of Vcnerie or Hunting, Gko. Turbervile. 1575. 

From ' The Visions of Petrarch ' 

BEiNCf one day at my window all alone, 
So manie strange thipgs hapned me to see, 
As much it grieveth me to thinke thereon. 
At my right hand a Hinde appearde to me. 
So faire as mought the greatest God delite ; 
Two egre dogs did her pursue in chace, 
Of which the one was black, the other white : 
With deadly force so in their cruell rac^e 
They pinchte the haunches of this gentle beast, 
That at the last, and in shorte time, I spied. 
Under a rocke, where she (alas) opprest, 
Fell to the grounde, and there untimely dide. 

Cruell death vanquishing so noble beautie. 

Oft makes me waile so hard a destenie. 

Kdmunu Spenser, 1569. 

Sonnet LXVII 

Lyke as a huntsman after weary chace, 
Seeing the game from him escapt away, 
Sits downe to rest him in some shady place, 
With panting hounds beguiled of their pray : 

So, after long pursuit and vaine assay, 
\Vhen I all weary had the chace forsooke. 
The gentle deare returnd the selfe-same way, 
Thinking to quench her thirst at the next brooke : 

There she, beholding me with mylder looke, 
Sought not to fly, but fearlesse still did bide ; 
* droppings. 



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40 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Till I in hand her yet halfe trembling tooke, 
And with her owne goodwill her fyrmely tyde. 
Strange thing, me seemd, to see a beast so wyld, 
So goodly wonne, with her owne will beguyld. 

P^DMUND Spenser, 1595. 

From ' Astrophel ' 

In wrestling nimble, and in rennin^ swift, 
In shooting steddie, and in swimmmg strong : 
Well made to strike, to throw, to leape, to lift. 
And all the sports that shepheards are eniong : 
In every one he vanquisht every one ; 
He vanquisht all, and vanquisht was of none. 

Besides, in hunting such felicitie, 

Or rather infelicitie, he found, 

That every field and forest far away 

He sought, where salvage beasts do most abound. 

No beast so salvage but he could it kill. 

No chace so hard but he therein had skill. 

Kdmund Spenser, 1595. 

From ' Mother Hubberds Tale* 

And lothefull idlenes he doth detest. 

The canker worme of everie gentle brest ; 

The which to banish with faire exercise 

Of knightly feates, he day lie doth devise : 

Now menaging the mouthes of stubbome steedes, 

Now practising the proofe of warlike deedes. 

Now his bright armes assaying, now his speare. 

Now the nigh aymed ring away to beare. 

At other times he casts to sew * the chace 

Of swift wilde beasts, or runne on foote a race, 

T' enlarge his breath, (large breath in armes most 

needfuU) 
Or els by wrestling to wex strong and heedfull. 
Or his stifFe armes to stretch with Eughen bowe, 
And manly legs, still passing too and fro, 
Without a gowned beast him fast beside, 
A vaine ensample of the Persian pride ; 
Who, after he had wonne th' Assyrian foe, 
Did ever after scome on foote to goe. 

Edmund Spenser, 1613. 
^ follow. 



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From * The Faerie Queene * 

As hagard hauke presuming to contend 
[ With hardy fowle, above his hable might, 

His wearie pounces all in vaine doth spend, 
To trusse the pray too heavy for his flight ; 
► Which, comming down to ground, does free it selfe by fight. 

Book i. c. xi. verse 19. 

As when a Vulture greedie of his pray, 
j Through hunger long, that hart to him doth lend, 

I Strikes at an Heron with all his bodies sway, 

That from his force seemes nought may it defend ; 
The warie fowle, that spies him toward bend 
His dreadfull souse,^ avoydes it, shunning light, 
\ And maketh him his wing in vaine to spend ; 

j That with the weight of his owne weeldlesse might 

[ He faUeth nigh to ground, and scarse recovereth flight. 

[ Book iv. c. iii. verse 19. 

As when a Faulcon hath with nimble flight 

Flowne at a flush of Ducks foreby the brooke, 
The trembling foule dismayd with dreadfull sight / 

^ Of death, the which them almost overtooke, 

Doe hide themselves from her astonying looke. 
Amongst the flags and covert round about. 

Book V. c. ii. verse 54* 

Like to an Eagle, in his kingly pride 

Soring through his wide Empire of the aire 
To weather his brode sailes, by chaunce hath spide 
A Goshauke, which hath seized for her share 
Uppon some fowle that should her feast prepare ; 
With dreadfull force he flies at her bylive,"^ 
That with his souce, which none enduren dare, 
Her from the quarrey he away doth drive. 

And from her griping pounce the greedy prey doth rive. 

Book V. c. iv. verse 42. 
[Tristram speaks thus : — ] 

* All which my daies I have not lewdly spent. 
Nor spilt the blossome of my tender yeares 
^ In ydlesse ; but as was convenient, 

Have trayned bene with many noble feres ^ 
In gentle thewes, and such like seemly leres : 
Mongst which my most delight hath alwaies been 
To hunt the salvage chace, amongst my peres. 
Of all that raungeth in the forrest greene, 

Of which none is to me unknowne that evY was seene. 

* stoop. * suddenly. ^ companions. 

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42 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

* Ne is there hauke, which mantleth her on pearch, 

Whether high towring, or accoasting * low, 
But I the measure of her flight doe search, 
And all her pray, and all her diet know. 
Such be our joyes which in these forrests grow : 
Onely the use of armes, which most I joy. 
And fitteth most for noble swayne to know, 
I have not tasted yet ; yet past a boy, 
And being now high time these strong joynts to imploy.* 

Book vi. c. ii. verses 31, 32. 

As when a cast of Faulcons make their flight 
At an Hemeshaw, that lyes aloft on wing, 
The whyles they strike at him with heedlesse might, 
The warie foule his bill doth backward wring ; 
On which the first, whose force her first doth bring, 
Her selfe quite through the bodie doth engore, 
And falleth downe to ground like senselesse thing. 
But th' other not so swift, as she before, 

Fayles of her souse, and passing by doth hurt no more. 

Book vi. c vii. verse 9. 

[Sir Calidore speaks thus : — ] 

* Sometimes 1 hunt the Fox, the vowed foe 

Unto my Lambes, and him dislodge away ; 
Sometime the fawne I practise from the Doe, 
Or from the Goat her kidde, how to convay : 
Another while I baytes and nets display 
The birds to catch, or fishes to beguyle : 
And when I wearie am, I downe doe lay 
My limbes in every shade to rest from toyle, 
And drinke of every brooke when thirst my throte doth boyle.' 

Book vi. c. ix. verse 23. 
Edmcnd SrKNSKK, 1590-1596. 

From Translations by Sir John Harington 

And as the hound that men the tumbler name, 
When he a hare or cunnie doth espie, 
Seemeth another way his course to frame 
As though he meant not to approach more nie. 
But yet he meeteth at the last his game. 
And shaketh it untill he make it die. 



Ev'n as the hunters that desirous are. 

Some present pastime for their hounds to see, 



' stooping. 

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SPORTING EXTRA CTS 43 

In stubble fields do seeke the fearfull hare, 
By ev'rie bush and under ev'rie tree, 

Like to a horse that running swiftest pase. 
Doth last set out,* and first doth win the race. 

Even as a grewnd, which hunters hold in slip, 

Striving to breake the string, and slide the coller, 
(Seeing the fearfull Deare, before him skip. 
Hunted belike with some Aciceons scholler) 
And when he sees he can by no meanes slip, 
Howleth, and whines, and bites the string for choler. 

Ariosto, Orlando Furioso. Translated by John Haringto. 1591. 

Sonnet by Thomas Watson 

Diana and her nimphs in silvane brooke. 

Did wash themselues in secret farre apart : 
But bold Ackpon dard on them to looke. 
For which fair Phoebe turned him to a Hart. 
His hounds unweeting of his sodaine change. 
Did hale and pull him downe with open crie : 
He then repenting that he so did range. 
Would sp^ake but could not, so did sigh and die. 

The Tears of Fancie or Ijwe Disdaintd. Reprinted from the unique copy 
of 1593, in the collection of S. Christie-Miller, Esq. 

The Pleasant Comodie of Patient Grisill 

Enter the Marquesse, Pavia, Mario, Lepido, and huntsmen : 
all like Hunters. A noyse of homes within 

Marquesse. Loke you so Strang my hearts, to see ourlimbes 
Thus suite4 in a Hunters livery ? 
Oh tis a lovely habite, when greene youth 
Like to the flowry blossome of the spring, 
Conformes his outward habite to his minde, .... 
For hunting is a sport for Emperors. 

Pavia, .... This day you vowed to wed : but now I see. 
Your promises turne all to mockerie 

Marq. How much your judgmens erre : who gets a wife 
Must like a huntsman beate untrodden pathes, 
To gaine the flymg presence of his love. 
Looke how the yelping beagles spend their mouthes 
So Lovers doe their sighes : and as the deare, 
Out-strips the active hound, and oft turnes backe 

^ An old form of handicap in races. 

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44 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

To note the angrie visage of her foe, 

Who greedy to possesse so sweet a pray, 

Never gives over till he ceaze on her, 

So fares it with coy dames, who great with scome 

Shew the care-pined hearts, that sue to them 

Yet on that feined slight (Love conquering them) 

They cast an eye of longing backe againe. 

As who would say, be not dismaid with frownes, 

For though our tongues speake no ; our hearts sound yea, 

Or if not so, before theile misse their lovers, 

Their sweet breathes shal perfume the Amorous ayre 

And brave them still to run in beauties Chase : 

Then can you blame me to be hunter like, 

When I must get a wife : . . . . 

Lets ring a hunters peale, and in the eares 

Of our swift forrest, Cittizens proclaime. 

Defiance to their lightnes : our sports done, 

The Venson that we kill shall feast our bride, 

If she prove bad, ile cast all blame on you. 

But if sweet peace succeede this amorous strife 

Ile say my wit was best to choose a wife. [Exeunt. 

H. Chktti.k, 1603. 



From 'Ourania* 



Two Grey-hounds swift and white as whitest snow, 

Attend her to pursue the nymble Deere : 

And in her hand she bare a dreadefull bowe. 

To kill the game, if any should appeere. 

Or any deadly foe approach too neere, 

Thus stands great Cynthia in the midst of May, 

With all her Traine to heare Endymions Lay. 

The fawning Dog full of sagacitie ; 

Excelling in sense and capacitie. 

The hardie Mastife, and nimble Greyhound, 

The omamdnt of Floras blessed round, 

Whose use we know, the Hart doth feare his might. 

The squatting Hare doth tremble at his sight. 

The noble chaunting Hound with pleasing throat, 

With bace and treble, me.ine, and tenor noat. 

Warbling his voice, making the home to sound, 

Orderly tunes l' immortilize the Hound : 

Quicke senting Spannell, fit for Princelie game. 

To pearch the Pheasant, and rare Birds of name. 

To set the Heath-cockc, Partrich and the Quaile, 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 45 

The Snypc, the Woodcocke, and the dainty Raile. 
To serve the Spar-hawke, Faulcon and Laneret, 
The Gosse-hawke, Ger-faulcon and young Eglet. 
The Marlyon, Hobby, Hawkes of swiftest wing, 
Which many pleasures unto Ladies bring. 
Deserveth praise of the best fluent Pen, 
That ever wrote the benefits of men. 

N. Baxter, 1606. 

'As You Like It' 

ACT Ih SCENE I. 

Duke Senior. Come, shall we goe and kill us venison } 
And yet it irkes me the poore dapled fooles 
Being native Burgers of this desert City, 
Should in their owne confines with forked heads 
Have their round hanches goard. 

I Lord. Indeed my Lord 
The melancholy /agues grieves at that, 
And in that kinde sweares you doe more usurpe 
Then doth your brother that hath banish'd you : 
To day my Lord of A miens ^ and my selfe, 
Did steale behinde him as he lay along 
Under an oake, whose anticke roote peepes out 
Upon the brooke that brawles along this wood, 
To the which place a poore sequestred Stag 
That from the Hunters aime had tane a hurt. 
Did come to languish ; and indeed my Lord 
The wretched annimall heav'd forth such groanes 
That their discharge did stretch his leatherne coat 
Almost to bursting, and the big round teares 
Cours'd one another downe his innocent nose 
In pitteous chase : and thus the hairie foole. 
Much marked of the melancholic y^^w^j. 
Stood on th' extremest verge of the swift brooke, 
Augmenting it with teares. 

Duke Senior. But what said /agues ? 
Did he not moralize this spectacle ? 

I Lord. O yes, into a thousand similies. 
First, for his weeping into the needlesse streame ; 
Poore Deere quoth he, thou mak'st a testament 
As worldlings doe, giving thy sum of more 
To that which had too must * ; then being there alone. 
Left and abandoned of his velvet friend ; 
'Tis right quoth he, thus miserie doth part 
The Fluxe of companie : anon a carelesse Heard 
Fuil of the pasture, jumps along by him 



^ y.l. much. 

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46 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

And never stales to greet him : I quoth /agues, 

Sweepe on you fat and greazie Citizens, 

'Tis just the fashion ; wherefore doe you looke 

Upon that poore and broken bankrupt there ? 

Thus most mvectively he pierceth through 

The body of Countrie, Citie, Court, 

Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we 

Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and whats worse 

To fright the Annimals, and to kill them up 

In their assign'd and native dwelling place. 

Duke Senior. And did you leave him in this contem- 
plation ? 

2 Lord. We did my Lord, weeping and commenting 
Upon the sobbing Deere. 

ACT IV. SCENE II. 

What shall he have that kild the Deare ? 

His Leather skin, and homes to weare : 

Then sing him home, the rest shall beare this burthen ; 

Take thou no scome to weare the home, 

It was a crest ere thou wast borne. 

Thy fathers father wore it. 

And thy father bore it, 

The home, the home, the lusty home, 

Is not a thing to laugh to scorne. 



* The Taming of the Shrew ' 

ACT I. SCENE I. 

Lord. Huntsman I charge thee, tender wel my hounds 
Brach Meriman^ the poore Curre is imbost, 
And couple Clowder with the deepe-mouth'd brach, 
SaVst thou not boy how Silver made it good 
At the hedge comer, in the couldest fault, 
I would not loose the dogge for twentie pound. 

Hunts. Why Belntan is as good as he my Lord, 
He cried upon it at the meerest ' losse. 
And twice to day pick'd out the dullest sent, 
Tmst me, I take him for the better dogge. 

Lord. Thou art a Foole, if Eccho were as fleete, 
I would esteeme him worth a dozen such : 
But sup them well, and looke unto them all. 
To morrow I intend to hunt againe. 



' most absolute. 



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"What shall he have that kild the Deare?" 

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SPORTING EXTRACTS 47 

* A Midsummer Night's Dream ' 

ACT IV. SCENE I. 

Theseus. Goe one of you, finde out the Forrester, 
For now our observation is perform'd ; 
And since we have the vaward of the day, 
My Love shall heare the musicke of my hounds. 
Uncouple in the Westerne valley, let them goe ; 
Dispatch I say, and finde the Forrester. 
We will faire Queene, up to the Mountaines top. 
And marke the musicall confusion 
Of hounds and eccho in coniunction. 

Hippolyta, I was with Hercules and Cadmus once, 
When in a wood of Creete they bayed the Beare 
With hounds of Sparta ; never did I heare 
Such gallant chidmg. For besides the groves, 
The skies, the fountaines, every region neere, 
Seeme all one mutuall cry. I never heard 
So musicall a discord, such sweet thunder. 

Thes. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kinde, 
So fleVd, so sanded, and their heads are hung 
With eares that sweepe away the morning dew, 
Crooke kneed, and dew-lapt, like Thessalian Buls, 
Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like bels, 
Each under each. A cry more tuneable 
Was never hallowed to, nor cheer'd with home, 
In Creete^ in Sparta^ nor in Thessaly ; 
Judge when you heare. 

"Henry VI.' 

PART I. ACT IV. SCENE II. 

Tal. How are we park'd and bounded in a pale ? 
A little Heard of Englands timorous Deere, 
Maz'd with a yelping kennell of French Curres. 
If we be English Deere, be then in blood. 
Not Rascall — like to fall downe with a pinch, 
But rather rooodie mad : And desperate Stagges, 
Tume on the bloody Hounds with heads of Steele, 
And make the Cowards stand aloofe at bay : 

'Henry VI.' 

PART 11. ACT II. SCENE I. 

Queene. Beleeve me Lords, for flying at the Brooke, 
I saw not better sport these seven yeeres day : 
Yet by your leave, the Winde was very high, 
And ten to one, old Joane had not gone out. 



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48 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

King, But what a point, my Lord, your Faulcon made 
And what a pytch she flew above the rest : 
To see how God in all his Creatures workes, 
Yea Man and Birds are fayne of climbing high. 

Suff, No marvell, and it like your Majestie, 
My Lord Protectors Hawkes doe towre so well, 
They know their Master loves to be aloft, 
And beares his thoughts above his Faulcons Pitch. 

Glost. My Lord, 'tis but a base ignoble minde, 
That mounts no higher then a Bird can sore : 

Card, I thought as much, hee would be above the Clouds. 

Glost. I my Lord Cardinall, how thinke you by that ? 
Were it not good your Grace could flye to Heaven ? 

' Antony and Cleopatra ' 

ACT II. SCENE V. 

Cleo. Give me nime Angle, weele to' th' River there 
My Musicke playing farre off. I will betray 
Tawny fine fishes, my bended hooke shall pierce 
Their shmy jawes : and as I draw them up. 
He thinke them ever>' one an Anthony^ 
And say, ah ha, y' are caught. 

Char, 'Twas merry when you wager'd on your Angling, 
when your diver did hang a salt fish on his hooke which he 
with fervencie drew up. 



' The Tempest ' 



ACT II. SCENE I. 

Fran. Sir he may live, 
I saw him beate the surges under him. 
And ride upon their backes ; he trod the water 
Whose enmity he flung aside : and brested 
The surge most swolne that met him : his bold head 
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oared 
Himselfe with his good armes in lusty stroke 
To th' shore ; that ore his wave-worne basis bowed 
As stooping to releeve him : I not doubt 
He came alive to Land. 

' Julius Caesar* 

ACT I. SCENE II. 

Cassi, For once, upon a Rawe and Gustie day, 
The troubled Tyber, chafing with her Shores, 
Casar saide to me Dar'st thou Cassius now 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 49 

Leape in with me into this angry Flood, 

And swim to yonder Point ? Upon the word, 

Accoutred as I was, I plunged in, 

And bad him follow : so indeed he did. 

The Torrent roar*d, and we did buffet it 

With lusty Sinewes, throwing it aside, 

And stemming it with hearts of Controversie. 

But ere we could arrive the Point propos'd, 

Ccesar cride, Helpe me Cassius^ or I sinke. 

I fas jEneas^ our great Ancestor, 

Did from the Flames of Troy, upon his shoulder 

The old Anchyses beare) so, from the waves of Tyber 

Did I the tyred Ccesar. 

' Love's Labour Lost ' 

ACT V. 

Qu. Nay my good Lord, let me ore-rule you now ; 
That sport best pleases, that doth least know how. 
Where Zeale strives to content, and the contents 
Dies in the Zeale of that which it presents : 
Their forme confounded, makes most forme in mirth, 
When great things labouring perish in their birth. 

Shaksperi:, Dramatic Works, fol, ed. 1623. 

Venus urges Adonis to choose the 
less dangerous Sports 

Thou hadst bin gone (quoth she) sweet bby ere this. 
But that thou toldst me, thou woldst hunt the boare. 
Oh be advisd, thou know'st not what it is. 
With iavelings point a churlish swine to goare. 

Whose tushes never sheathd, he whetteth still. 

Like to a mortall butcher bent to kill. 

On his bow-backe, he hath a battell set, 

Of brisly pikes that ever threat his foes ; 

His eyes like glow-wormes shine when he doth fret 

His snout digs sepulchers where ere he goes. 

Being mov^d he strikes, what ere is in his way, 

And whom he strikes, his crooked tushes slay. 

His brawnie sides with hairie bristles armed. 

Are better proofe then thy speares point can enter. 

His short thick necke cannot be easily harmed, 

Being irefull, on the lyon he will venter. 
The thornie brambles, and imbracing bushes, 
As fearefuU of him part, through whom he rushes. 

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50 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

And more then so, presenteth to mine eye, 
The picture of an angrie chafing boare, 
Under whose sharpe fangs, on his backe doth lye, 
An image like thy selfe, all staynd with goare, 
Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed, 
Doth make th5 droop with grief, & hang the hed. 

What should I do, seeing thee so indeed ? 

That tremble at th' imagination, 

The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed. 

And feare doth teach it divination ; 

I prophecie thy death, my living sorrow. 
If thou incounter with the boare to morrow. 

But if thou needs wilt hunt, be rul'd by me. 

Uncouple at the timerous flying hare, 

Or at the foxe which lives by subtiltie, 

Or at the Roe which no incounter dare : 

Pursue these fearfull creatures o're the downes, 
And on thy wel breathd horse keep with thy houds. 

And when thou hast on foote the purblind hare, 
Marke the poore wretch to over-shut his troubles. 
How he outruns the wind, and with what care, 
He crankes and crosses with a thousand doubles, 

The many musits * through the which he goes. 

Are like a laberinth to amaze his foes. 

Sometime he runnes among a flocke of sheepe. 
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell, 
And sometime where earth-delving Conies keepe, 
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell : 
And sometime sorteth with a heard of deare 
Danger deviseth shifts, wit waites on feare. 

For there his smell with others being mingled. 
The hot sent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt. 
Ceasing their clamorous cry, till they have singled 
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out, 

Then do they spend their mouth's, eccho replies, 

As if an other chase were in the skies. 

By this poore wat farre oflf upon a hill, 

Stands on his hinder-legs with listning eare. 

To hearken if his foes pursue him still, 

Anon their loud alarums he doth heare, 
And now his griefe may be compared well, 
To one sore sicke, that heares the passing bell. 

1 gaps in a hedge. 

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SPORTING EXTRACTS 



51 



Then shall thou see the deaw-bedabbled wretch, 
Tume, and returne, indenting with the way, 
Ech envious brier, his wearie legs do scratch, 
Ech shadow makes him stop, ech murmour stay. 
To miserie is troden on by manie, 
And being low, never releev'd by anie. 



Description of a Hunter 

Looke when a Painter would surpasse the life. 
In limming out a well proportioned steed, 
His Art with Natures workmanship at strife, 
As if the dead the living should exceed : 

So did this Horse excell a common one, 
In shape, in courage, colour, pace and bone. 





^ 


^^^^^^^K 


^^Hflj^pH^A • 


Ml 


2^ 


yptJB 


m 


ShiI 






Aij 




E^^^ 



1, 00k what a horse should have, he did not lack 



Round hooft, short ioynted, fetlocks shag, and long. 
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostrill wide. 
High crest, short eares, straight legs, & passing strOg 
Thin mane, thicke taile, broad buttock, tender hide : 

Looke what a Horse should have, he did not lack. 

Save a proud rider on so proud a back. 

E 2 

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52 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Venus finds Adonis dead 

By this she heares the hounds are at a bay, 
Whereat she starts like jone that spies an adder, 
Wreath'd up in fatall folds iust in his way, 
The feare whereof doth make him shake, & shudder. 
Even so the timerous yelping of the hounds, 
Appals her senses, and her spirit confounds. 

For now she knowes it is no gentle chase, 
But the blunt boare, rough beare, or lyon proud. 
Because the crie remaineth in one place, 
Where fearefully the dogs exclaime aloud, 
Finding their enemie to be so curst. 
They all straine curt'sie who shall cope him first. 

This dismall crie rings sadly in her eare, 
Through which it enters to surprise her hart, 
Who overcome by doubt, and bloodlesse feare, 
With cold-pale weakenesse, nums ech feeling part, 
Like soldiers when their captain once doth yeeld, 
They basely flic, and dare not stay the field. 

Thus stands she in a trembling extasie. 
Till cheering up her senses all dismayd, 
She tels them tis a causlesse fantasie, 
And childish error that they are affrayd, 

Bids the leave quaking, bids them feare no more, 
And with that word, she spide the hunted boare. 

Whose frothie mouth bepainted all with red. 
Like milke, & blood, being mingled both togither, 
A second feare through all her sinewes spred, 
Which madly hurries her, she knowes not whither. 
This way she runs, and now she will no further, 
liut backe retires, to rate the boare for murther. 

A thousand spleenes beare her a thousand wayes. 
She treads the path, that she untreads againe ; 
Her more then hast, is mated with delayes, 
Like the proceedings of a drunken braine, 
Full of respects, yet naught at all respecting, 
In hand with all things, naught at all effecting. 

Here kenneld in a brake, she finds a hound. 
And askes the wearie caitiffe for his maister. 
And there another licking of his wound. 
Gainst venimd sores, the onely soveraigne plaister. 
And here she meets another, sadly skowlmg, 
To whom she speaks, & he replies with howling. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 53 

When he hath ceast his ill resounding noise, 

Another flapmouthd mounier, blacke, and grim, 

Against the welkin, volies out his voyce, 

Another, and another, answer him. 
Clapping their proud tailes to the ground below, 
Shaking their scratcht-eares, bleeding as they go. 

By this farre off, she heares some huntsman hallow, 
A nourses song nere pleasd her babe so well, 
The dyre imagination she did follow, 
This sound of hope doth labour to expell. 

For now reviving ioy bids her reioyce. 

And flatters her, it is Adonis voyce. 

As Faulcons to the lure, away she flies. 

The grasse stoops not, she treads on it so light. 

And in her hast, unfortunately spies, 

The foule boares conquest, on her faire delight, 
Which seene, her eyes are murdred with the view, 
Like stars ash.am'd of day, themselves withdrew. 

Or as the snaile, whose tender homes being hit, 
Shrinks backward in his shellie cave with paine, 
And, there all smoothred up, in shade doth sit. 
Long after fearing to creepe forth againe : 

So at his bloodie view her eyes are fled, 

Into the deep-darke cabbins of her head. 

Where they resigne their office, and their light, 
To the disposing of her troubled braine, 
Who bids them still consort with ougly night. 
And never wound the heart with lookes againe, 

Who like a king perplexed in his throne. 

By their suggestion, gives a deadly grone. 

Whereat ech tributarie subiect quakes, 
As when the wind imprisond in the ground, 
Struggling for passage, earths foundation shakes. 
Which with cold terror, doth mens minds confound : 
This mutinie ech part doth so surprise, 
That fro their dark beds once more leap her eies. 

And being opend, threw unwilling light, 
Upon the wide wound, that the boare had trencht 
In his soft flanke, whose wonted lillie white 
With purple tears that his wound wept, had drgcht. 
No floure was nigh, no grasse, hearb, leaf, or weed. 
But stole his blood, and seemd with him to bleed. 

S n A K s I ' !•: K K ' s Ven us and A don is, 1593. 

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54 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

From 'The Workes of Beniamin 
Jonson ' 

In autumne, at the Partrich makes a slight,' 

And giv'st thy gladder guests the sight ; 
And, in the winter, hunt'st the flying hare, 

More for thy exercise, then fare ; 
While all, that follow, their glad eares apply 

To the full greatnesse of the cry : 
Or hauking at the river, or the bush, 

Or shooting at the greedie thrush. 
Thou dost with some delight the day out-weare, 

Although the coldest of the yeere I 

The Forrest, 1616. 

Chorus. 
Turne — Hunters then, 
agen. 
Hunting, it is the noblest exercise. 

Makes men laborious, active, wise, 
Brings health, and doth the spirits delight, 

It help's the hearing, and the sight : 
It teacheth arts that never slip 

The memory, good horsmanship, 
Search, sharpnesse, courage, and defence, 
And chaseth all ill habits thence. 
Turne Hunters then, 
agen. 
But not of men. 
Follow his ample ; 
And just example. 
That hates all chace of malice, and of bloud : 
And studies only waycs of good, 
To keep soft Peace in breath. 
Man should not hunt Mankind to death, 
But strike the enemies of Man ; 

Kill vices if you can : 
They are your wildest beasts. 
And when they thickest fall, you make the Gods true feasts. 

Time I'i/itficii/t'ti, 1640. 

From ' Britannia's Pastorals * 

Now as an Angler melanchoh' standing 
Upon a greene banckc yeelding roomc for landing, 
A wrigling yealow worme thrust on his hookc. 
Now in the midst he throwes, then in a nookc : 



' feint. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 55 

Here puis his line, there throwes it in againe, 
Mendeth his Corke and Baite, but all in vaine, 
He long stands viewing of the curled streame ; 
At last a hungry Pike^ or well-growne Breame. 
Snatch at the worme, and hasting fast away 
He knowing it, a Fish of stubbome sway 
Puis up his rod, but soft : (as having skill) 
Wherewith the hooke fast holds the Fishes gill. 
Then all his line he freely yeeldeth him, 
Whilst furiously all up and downe doth swimme 
Th' in snared Fish, here on the top doth scud. 
There underneath the banckes, then in the mud ; 
And with his franticke fits so scares the shole, 
That each one takes his hydv^ or starting hole : 
By this the Pike cleane wearied, underneath 
A Willow lyes, and pants (if Fishes breath) 
Wherewith the Angler gently puis him to him, 
And least his hast might happen to undoe him, 
Layes downe his rod, then takes his line in hand, 
And by degrees getting the Fish to land, 
Walkes to another Poole : at length is winner 
Of such a dish as serves him for his dinner : 

As when a Greyhound (of the rightest straine) 
Let slip to some poore Hare upon the plaine ; 
Hee for his prey strives ; t'other for her life. 
And one of these or none must end the strife : 
Now seemes the Dog by speede and good at bearing 
To have her sure ; the other ever fearing, 
Maketh a sodaine turne, and doth defcrre 
The Hound a while from so neere reaching her : 
Yet being fetcht againe and almost tane 
Doubting (since touched of him) she scapes her bane. 

W. Browne, 1613. 

From ' The Muses Threnodie ' 

And yee my Clubs^ you must no more prepare 
To make you bals flee whistling in the aire. 
But hing your heads, and bow your crooked crags,' 
And dresse you all in sackcloth and in rags. 
No more to see the Sun, nor fertile fields, 
But closely keep you mourning in your biekls, ' 
And for your part the trible to you take. 



^ necks. ^ shelters. 



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56 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

And when you cry make all your crags to crake, 
And shiver when you sing alace for Gall I 
Ah if our mourning might thee now recall I 

From thence to Methven wood we took our way, 
Soone be Aurora fair did kyth the day ; 
And having rested there some little space, 
Againe we did betake us to our chace. 
Raising the Does and Roes forth of their dennes, 
And watrie fowles out of the marrish fennes, 
That if Diana had been in that place, 
Would thought, in hunting we had stain'd her grace. 

The Muses Threnodie or mirthful mournings on the death 
of Master Gall. Kl)W. Adamson, 1638. 



Wild Beasts chased by Fire 

The craftie Foxe which Numbers doth deceave, 

To get, not be a Prey, shall be a Prey, 

The Embrions Enemie, Womens that conceave, 

As who might give him Death, their Birth to stay, 

That ravenous Wolfe which Blood would alwayes have, 

All then a Thought more quickly shall decay. 

No Strength then stands, such Weaknesse went before, 
Nor yet base Slight, meere Foolishnesse and more. 

The Hart whose Homes (as Greatnesse is to all) 
Do seenie to grace, are Burdens to his Head, 
With swift (though slender Legges) when Wounds appall, 
Which cures himselfe where Nature doth him lead 
And with great Eyes, weake Heart, oft Dangers thrall. 
The warie Hare whose Feare oft Sport hath made. 
Do seeke by Swiftnesse Death in vaine to shunne, 
As if a Flight of Flames could be outrunne. 

The painted Panther which not fear'd doth gore, 

Like some whose beauteous Face foule minds defame, 

The Tiger Tigrish, past expressing more. 

Since crueltie is noted by his Name, 

The able Ounce, strong Beare, and fooming Bore, 

(Mans Rebells since God did Man his proclaime) 

Though fierce all faint and know not where to tume. 
They see their old Refuge, the Forrests burne. 

Doomesday, by Sir William Alkxandkk, (Knight) Earl op 
Stirling; The Third Honre, 1614. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS S7 



Coursing 



Whilst Rockingham was heard with these Reports to ring, 
The Muse by making on towards Wetlands ominous Spring, 
With Kelmarsh there is caught, for coursing of the Hare, 
Which scomes that any place, should with her Plaines compare : 
Which in the proper Tearmes the Muse doth thus report ; 

The man whose vacant mind prepares him to the sport, 
The Finder sendeth out, to seeke out nimble Wat^ 
Which crosseth in the field, each furlong, every Flat, 
Till he this pretty Beast upon the Forme hath found, 
Then viewing for the Course, which is the fairest ground,. 
The Greyhounds foorth are brought, for coursing then in case, 
And choycely in the Slip, one leading forth a brace ; 
The Finder puts her up, and gives her Coursers law. 
And whilst the eager dogs upon the Start doe draw, 
Shee riseth from her seat, as though on earth she flew, 
Forced by some yelping Cute ^ to give the (ireyhounds view. 
Which are at length let slip, when gunning out they goe, 
As in respect of them the swiftest wind were slow. 
When each man runnes his Horse, with fixed eyes and notes 
Which Dog first tumes the Hare, which first the other coats,' 
They wrench her once or twice, ere she a tume will take, 
Whats oflfred by the first, the other good doth make ; 
And tume for tume againe with equall speed they ply, 
Bestirring their swift feet with strange agilitie : 
A hardned ridge or way, when if the Hare doe win, 
Then as shot from a Bow, she from the Dogs doth spm. 
That strive to put her off, but when hee cannot reach her. 
This giving him a Coat,* about againe doth fetch her 
To him that comes behind, which seemes the Hare to beare ; 
But with a nimble tume shee casts them both arrere : 
Till oft for want of breath, to fall to ground they make her, 
The Greyhounds both so spent, that they want breath to take her. 
Here leave I whilst the Muse more serious things attends, 
And with my Course at Hare, my Canto likewise ends. 

Polyolbion, Michael Drayton, 1622. 

Beasts of Chase 

Of all the Beasts which we for our veneriall name. 
The Hart amongst the rest, the Hunters noblest game : 
Of which most Princely Chase sith none did ere report. 
Or by description touch, t' expresse that wondrous sport 
(Yet might have well beseem'd th' ancients nobler Songs) 
To our old Arden heere, most fitly it belongs : 



pass. 



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58 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Yet shall shee not invoke the Muses to her ayde ; 

But thee Diana bright, a Goddesse and a mayd : 

In many a huge-growne Wood, and many a shady (irove, 

Which oft hast borne thy Bowe (great Huntresse) us'd to rove 

At many a cruell beast, and with thy darts to pierce 

The Lyon, Panther, Ounce, the Beare, and Tiger fierce ; 

And following thy fleet Game, chaste mightie Forrests Qucene, 

With thy disheveld Nymphs attyr'd in youthfull greene. 

About the Launds hast scowVd, and Wastes both farre and neere. 

Brave Huntresse : but no beast shall prove thy Quarries heere ; 

Saue those the best of Chase, the tall and lusty Red, 

The Stag for goodly shape, and statelinesse of head, 




Is fitt'st to hunt at force. For whom, when with his hounds 

The laboring Hunter tufts the thicke unbarbed grounds 

Where harbor'd is the Hart ; there, often from his feed 

The dogs of him doc find ; or thorough skilfull heed. 

The Huntsman by his slot, or breaking earth, perceaves, 

Or entring of the thicke by pressing of the greaves 

W^here he hath gone to lodge. Now when the Hart doth heare 

The often-bellowing hounds to vent his secret leyre, 

He rouzing rusheth out, and through the Brakes doth drive. 

As though up by the roots the bushes he would rive. 

And through the combrous thicks, as fearefully he makes, 

Hec with his branched head, the tender Saplings shakes, 

Tliat sprinkling their moyst pearle doe seemc for him to wcepe ; 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 59 

When after goes the Cry, with yellings lowd and deepe, 
That all the Forrest rings, and every neighbouring place : 
And there is not a hound but falleth to the Chase. 

Rechating with his home, which then the Hunter cheeres, 
Whilst still the lustie Stag his high-palm'd head up-beares, 
His body showing state, with unbent knees upright. 
Expressing (from all beasts) his courage in his flight. 
But when th' approaching foes still following he perceives. 
That hee his speed must trust, his usuall walke he leaves ; 
And or'e the Champaine flies : which when th' assembly find, 
Each foUowes, as his horse were footted with the wind. 
But beeing then imbost, the noble stately Deere 
When he hath gotten ground (the kennell cast arere) 
Doth beat the Brooks and Ponds for sweet refreshing soyle : 
That serving not, then proves if he his sent can foyle, 
And makes amongst the Heards, and flocks of shag-wooll'd 

Sheepe, 
Them frighting from the guard of those who had their keepe. 
But when as all his shifts his safety still denies. 
Put quite out of his walke, the wayes and fallowes tryes. 
Whom when the Plow-man meets, his teame he letteth stand 
T' assaile him with his goad ; so with his hooke in hand. 
The Shepheard him pursues, and to his dog doth halow : 
When, with tempestuous speed, the hounds and Huntsmen follow; 
Untill the noble Deere through toyle bereav'd of strength. 
His long and sinewy legs then fayling him at length, 
The Villages attempts, enrag'd, not giving way 
To any thing hee meets now at his sad decay. 
The cruell ravenous hounds and bloody Hunters neer, 
This noblest beast of Chase, that vainly doth but feare. 
Some banke or quick-set finds : to which his hanch oppos'd, 
He tumes upon his foes, that soone have him inclos'd. 
The churlish throated hounds then holding him at bay, 
And as their cruell fangs on his harsh skin they lay, 
With his sharp-poynted head he dealeth deadly wounds, 

The Hunter, comming in to helpe his wearied hounds, 
He desperatly assailes ; untill opprest by force, 
He who the Mourner is to his owne dying Corse, 
Upon the ruthlesse earth his precious teares lets fall. 

Polyolbion, Miciiakl Drayton, 1622. 

* Muses Elizium ' 

Silvius. For my profession then, and for the life I lead 
All others to excell, thus for my selfe 1 plead ; 
I am the Prince of sports, the Forest is my Fee, 
He's not upon the Earth for pleasure lives like me ; 
The Morne no sooner puts herRosye Mantle on. 



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6o THE POETRY OF SPORT 

But from my quyet Lodge 1 instantly am gone, 

When the melodious Birds from every Bush and Bryer 

Of the wilde spacious Wasts, make a continuall quire ; 

The motlied Meadowes then, new vernisht with the Sunne 

Shute up their spicy sweets upon the winds that runne, 

In easly ambling Gales, and softly seeme to pace, 

That it the longer might their lushiousnesse imbrace ; 

I am clad in youthful! Greene, I other colours scorne, 

My silken Bauldrick beares my Beugle, or my Home, 

Which setting to my Lips, I winde so lowd and shrill, 

As makes the Ecchoes showte from every neighbouring Hill. 

My Doghooke at my Belt, to which my Lyam's * tyde. 

My Sheafe of Arrowes by, my Woodknife at my Syde, 

My Crosse-bow in my Hand, my Gaffle'^ or* my Rack 

To bend it when 1 please, or it 1 list to slack, 

My Hound then in my Lyam,^ I by the Woodmans art 

Forecast, where I may lodge the goodly Hie-palm'd Hart, 

To vie we the grazing H cards, so sundry times I use, 

Where by the loftiest Head I know my Deare to chuse, 

And to unheard him then, I gallop o'r the ground 

Upon my wel-breath'd Nag, to cheere my earning Hound. 

Sometime 1 pitch my Toyles the Deare alive to take. 

Sometime I like the Cry, the deepe-mouth'd Kennell make. 

Then underneath my Horse, 1 staulke my game to strike. 

And with a single Dog to hunt him hurt, I like. 

The Silvians are to me true subjects, I their King, 

The stately Hart, his Hind doth to my presence bring, 

The Buck his loved Doe, the Roe his tripping Mate, 

Before me to my Bower, whereas 1 sit in State. 

The Dryads, Hamadrvads, the Satyres and the Fawnes 

Oft play at Hyde and Seeke before me on the Lawnes, 

The frisking Fayry oft when horned Cinthia shines 

Before me as I walke dance wanton Matachynes,^ 

The numerous feathered flocks that the wild Forrests haunt 

Their Silvan songs to me, in cheerefull dittyes chaunte. 

The shades like ample Shcclds, defend me from the Sunne, 

Through which me to refresh the gentle Rivelets runne, 

No little bubling Bro.ok from any Spring that falls 

But on the Pebbles playes me pretty Madrigals. 

r th' morne I clime the Hills, where wholsome winds do blow 

At Noone-tyde to the V'ales, and shady Groves below, 

T\vards Evening I againe the Chrystall Floods frequent. 

In pleasure thus my life continually is spent. 

As Princes and great Lords have Pallaces, so 1 

Have in the Forrests here, my Hall and Gallery 

* Leash. 

* The steel lever by which a crossbow was forced up the rack. 
'» Probably misprint for ' on.' 

* A comic dance, representing a mock combat, was called a Matachin. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 6i 

The tall and stately Woods ; which underneath are Plahie, 
The Groves my Gardens are, the Heath and Downes againe 
My wide and spacious walkes, then say all what ye can, 
The Forester is still your only gallant man. 

Halcius, No P'orrester, it so must not be borne away, 
But heare what for himselfe the Fisher first can say, 
The Chr>'stall current Streames continually I keepe, 
Where every Pearle-pav'd Foard, and every Blew-eyd deepe 
With me familiar are ; when in my Boate being set. 
My Oare I take in hand, my Angle and my Net 
About me ; like a Prince my selfe in state I steer. 
Now up, now downe the Streame, now am 1 here, now ther. 
The Pilot and the Fraught my selfe ; and at my eas§ 
Can land me when I list, or in what place I please, 
The Silver-scaled Sholes, about me in the Streames, 
As thick as ye discerne the Atoms in the Beames, 
Neare to the shady Banck where slender Sallowes grow. 
And Willows their shag^d tops downe t'wards the water^s bow 
I shove in with my Boat to sheeld me from the heat, 
Where chusing from my Bag, some prov'd espcciall bayt. 
The goodly well growne Trout I with my Angle strike, 
And with my bearded Wyer I take the ravenous Pike, 
Of whom when I have hould, he seldom breakes away 
Though at my Lynes full length, soe long I let him play. 
Till by my hand I finde him well-nere wear>'ed be, 
When softly by degrees I drawe him up to me. 
The lusty samon to, I oft with Angling take, 
Which me above the rest most Lordly sport doth make, 
WTio feeling he is caught, such Frisks and bounds doth fetch, 
And by his very strength my Line so farre doth stretch 
And drawes my floating Corcke downe to the very ground. 
And wresting of my Rod, doth make my Boat turne round. 
I never idle am, some tyme I bayt my Weeles, 
With which by night 1 take the dainty silver Eeles, 
And with my Draughtnet then, 1 swccpe the streaming Flood, 
And to my Tramell next, and Cast-net from the Mud, 
I beate the Scaly brood, noe hower I idely spend. 
But wearied with my worke I bring the day to end : 
The Naijdes and Nymphes that in the Rivers keepe, 
Which take into their care, the store of every deepe. 
Amongst the Flowery flags, the Bullrushes and Reed, 
That of the Spawne have charge (abundantly to breed) 
Well mounted upon Swans, their naked bodys lend 
To my discerning eye, and on my Boate attend, 
And dance upon the Waves, before me (for my sake) 
To th' Musick the soft wynd upon the Reeds doth make. 
And for my pleasure more, the rougher (iods of Seas 
From Neptunes Court send in the blew Neriades, 



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62 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Which from his bracky Realme upon the Billowes ride 

And beare the Rivers backe with every Streaming Tyde, 

Those Billowes gainst my Boate, borne with delightfijll Gales 

Oft seeming as I rowe to tell me pretty tales, 

Whilst Ropes of liquid Pearle still load my laboring Oares, 

As streacht upon the Streame they stryke me to the Shores ; 

The silent medowes seeme delighted with my Layes, 

As sitting in my Boate 1 sing my Lasses praise, 

Then let them that like, the Forrester up cr>', 

Your noble Fisher is your only man say 1. 

MiCHAKL DKAVTON. 1630. 

From ' Brittain's Ida ' 

His joy was not in musiques sweete delight, 
(Though well his hand had learnt that cunning arte,) 
Or dainty songs to daintier eares indite. 
But through the plaines to chace the nimble hart 
With well-tun'd hounds ; or with his certaine dart 
The tusked boare or savage beare to wound : 
Meane time his heart with monsters doth abound ; 
Ah, Foole ! to seeke so farre what neerer might be found. 

?PlIlNKAS FLKTdlKK, 1628. 

' Beggars Bush ' 

Enter Hubert. 

Hub. (jood ev'n my honest friends. 
Gcrrard. Good ev'n good fellow 
Hub. May a poor huntsman, with a merry heart, 
A voice shall make the Forrest ring about him, 
Get leave to live amongst ye ? True as steel boys,. 
That knows all chases; and can watch all hours, 
And with my qua rtcr-sta fife, though the Divell bid stand, 
Deal such an almes, shall make him roar again 1 
Prick ye the fearful] hare through crosse waves, sheep walks ; 
And force the craftie Re>Tiard climb the quick-sets ; 
Rouze yc the loftie Stag, and with my bell-horn 
Ring him a knell, that all the woods shall mourn him, 
'Till in his funeral tears he fall before me ? 
The Polcat^ Marternc^ and the rich skin'd Lucerne^ 
I know to chase the Roe, the wind out-stripping. 
fsgrin himself in all his bloody anger, 
I can beat from the bay ; and the wild sounder 
Single ; and with my arm'd staff, turn the Boar 
Spight of his fomy tushes ; and thus strike him. 
Till he fall down my feast. 

Beaumont and Klktchek, i66i. 



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" Winde, jollie huntsmen, your neat bugles shrilly." 

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SPORTING EXTRACTS 63 

From * Perkin Warbeck ' 

ACT IV. 

Kinjs^ Henry. I knew it should not misse. 
He fondly angles who will hurle his bayte 
Into the water, 'cause the Fish at first 
Playes round about the line, and dares not bite. 

J. Ford, 1634. 

From * The Sun's-Darling ' 

ACT III. 
Winde, joUie Hunts-men your neat Bugles shrilly, 

Hounds make a lustie crie : 
Spring up, you F'aulconers, the Partridges freely, 
then let your brave Hawks flie. 
Horses amain 
over ridg, over plain, 
the Dogs have the Stag in chace ; 
His a sport to content a King. 
So ho ho, through the skies 
how the proud bird flies, 

and soucing ^ kills with a grace. 
Now the Deer falls, hark how they ring. 

J, Ford and T. Decker. 1656. 

On a Tenis-court 

Man is a Tenis-court : His Flesh, the IVa// : 

The Gamsters God and Sathan^ Th' heart's the Ball'. 

The higher and the lower Hazzards are 

Too bold Presumption^ and too base Despaire : 

The Rackets^ which our restlesse Balls make flye, 

Adversity^ and sweet Prosperity : 

The Angels keepe the Court, and marke the place. 

Where the Ball fals, and chaulks out ev'17 C/iacf : 

The Line's a Civill life, we often crosse. 

Ore which, the Ball not flying, makes a Lossr : 

Detractors are like Standers-dy, that bett 

With Charitable men ; Our Lif^s the Sett : 

Lord, In this Conflict, in these fierce Assaults, 

Laborious Sathan makes a world of F'aults ; 

Forgive them Lord, although he nere implore 

For favour ; They'l be set upon our score : 

O, take the Ball, before it come to th' ground. 

For this base Court has many a. false Redound : 

Strike, and strike hard, but strike above the Line ; 

Strike where thou please, so as the Sett be thine. 

QUARLES (Fra). Divine Fancies, 1632. 
' stooping. 



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64 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Emblemes 

Here's your right ground : Wagge gently ore this Black ; 

'Tis a short Cast ; y'are quickly at the Jack : 
Rubbe, rubbe an Inch or two ; Two Crownes to one 

On this Boules side ; Blow winde ; T'is fairely throwne 
The next Boule's worse that comes ; Come boule away ; 

Mammon^ you know the ground un-tutor'd, Play ; 
Your last was gone ; A yeard of strength, well spar'd, 

Had touch'd the Block ; your hand is still too hard. 
Brave pastime, Readers, to consume that day, 

Which ; without pastime, flyes too swift away : 
See how they labour ; as if day and night 

Were both too short, to serve their loose delight ; 
See how their curved bodies wreathe, and skrue 

Such antick shapes as Proteus never knew : 
One raps an oath ; another deales a curse ; 

Hee never better bould ; this, never worse : 
One rubbes his itchlesse Elbow, shrugges, and laughs ; 

The tother bends his beetle-browes, and chafes, 
Sometime they whoope ; sometimes their Stigian cries 

Send their Black-5tf///^j to the blushing Skies ; 
Thus, mingling of Humors in a mad confusion. 

They make bad Premises, and worse Conclusion : 
But Where's the Palme that Fortunes hand allowes 

To bless the Victors honourable Browes ? 
Come, Reader, come ; He light thine eye the way 

To view the Prize, the while the Gamesters play ; 
Close by the Jack, behold Gill Fortune stands 

To wave the game ; See, in her partial 1 hands 
The glorious Garland's held in open show. 

To cheare the Ladds, and crownc the Conq'rers brow ; 
The world's the Jack ; The Gamesters that contend. 

Are Cupid^ Mammon. That juditious Friend, 
That gives the ground, is Sathan ; and the Boules 

Are sinfuU Thoughts : The Prize, a Crowne for Fooles. 
Who breathes that boules not ? what bold tongue can say 

Without a blush, he hath not bould to day ? 
It is the Trade of man ; And ev'ry Sinner 

Has plaid his Rubbers ; Every Soule's a winner. 
The vulgar Proverb's crost : Hce hardly can 

Be a good Bouler and an Honest man. 
Good God, turne thou my Brazil thoughts anew ; 

New soale my Boules, and make their Bias true : 
rie cease to game, till fairer Ciround be given. 

Nor wish to winne untill the Marke be Heaven. 



Fra. Quari.es, 1635. 

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SPORTING EXTRACTS 65 

From * Gondibert ' 

THE FIRST BOOK, CANTO THE SECOND 

All were like Hunters clad in cheerfull green, 

Young Natures Livery, and each at strife 
Who most adom'd in favours should be seen, 1 

Wrought kindly by the Lady of his life. 

These Martiall Favours on their Wasts they weare, 

On which (for now they Conquest celebrate) 
In an imbroader'd History appeare 1 

Like life, the vanquish'd in their feares and fate. 1 

And on these Belts (wrought with their Ladys care) 

Hung Semyters of Akons trusty Steele ; 
Goodly to see, and he who durst compare 

Those Ladies Eies, might soon their temper feele. 

Cheer'd as the Woods (where new wak*d Quires they meet) 

Are all ; and now dispose their choice Relays 
Of Horse and Hounds, each like each other fleet ; 

Which best when with themselves compared we prais ; 

To them old Forrest Spys, the Harborers 

With hast approach, wet as still weeping Night, 
Or Deer that mourn their growth of head with tears, 

When the defenceless weight does hinder flight. 

And Doggs, such whose cold secrecy was ment 

By Nature for surprise, on these attend ; 
Wise temperate Lime- Hounds * that proclaim no scent ; 

Nor harb'ring - will their mouths in boasting spend. 

Yet vainlier farr then Traytors boast their prise 

(On which their vehemence vast rates does lay. 
Since in that worth their treasons credit lies) 

These Harb'rers praise that which they now betray. 

Boast they have lodg'd a Stagg, that all the Race 

Out-runs of Croton Horse, or Regian Hounds ; 
A Stagg made long since Royall in the Chace, 

If Kings can honor give by giving wounds. 

For Aribert had pierc't him at a Bay, 

Yet scap'd he by the vigour of his Head ; 
And many a sommer since has wonne the day, 

And often left his Regian FoU'wers dead. 

* hounds in leash. * marking the lie. 

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66 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

His spacious Beame * (that even the Rights outgrew) 
From Antlar to his Troch had all allow'd 

By which his age the aged Woodmen knew ; 
Who more than he were of that beauty prowd. 

Now each Relay a sev'ral Station findes, 

Ere the triumphant Train the Copps surrounds ; 

Relayes of Horse, long breath'd as winter windes, 
And their deep Cannon Mouth'd experienc'd Hounds. 

The Huntsmen (Busily concerned in showe 
As if the world were by this Beast undone, 

And they against him hir'd as Nature's Foe) 
In haste uncouple, and their Hounds outrunne. 

Now winde they a Recheat, the rows'd Dear's knell ; 

And through the Forrest all the Beasts are aw'd ; 
Alarm'd by Ecchoe, Nature's Sentinel, 

Which shews that Murdrous Man is come abroad. 

Tirranique Man ! Thy subjects Enemy ! 

And more through wantonness then need or hate ; 
From whom the winged to their Coverts flie ; 

And to their Dennes even those that laye in waite. 

So this (the most successfuU of his kinde, 

Whose Foreheads force oft his Opposers prest, 

Whose swiftness left Persuers shafts behinde) 
Is now of all the Forrest most distrest ! 

The Heard deny him shelter, as if taught 
To know their safety is to yield him lost ; 

Which shews they want not the results of thought, 
But speech, by which we ours for reason boast. 

We blush to see our politicks in Beasts, 
Who Many sav'd by this one sacrifice ; 

And since through blood they follow interests, 
Like us when cruel should be counted wise. 

His Rivals that his fury us'd to fear 

For his lov'd Female, now his faintness Shunne ; 
But were his season hot, and she but neer, 

(O mighty Love !) his Hunters were undone. 

From thence, well blown, he comes to the Relay ; 

Where Man's fam'd reason proves but Cowardise, 
And only serves him meanly to betray ; 

Even for the flying, Man, in ambush lies. 



* horns. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 67 

But now, at his last remedy to live, 

(For ev^ry shift for life kinde Nature makes, 
Since life the utmost is which she can give) 

Coole Adice from the swoln Banke he takes. 

But this fresh Bath the Doggs will make him leave ; 

Whom he sure nos'd as fasting Tygers found ; 
Their scent no North-east winde could eVe deceave 

Which dries the ayre, nor Flocks that foyle the Ground. 

Swift here the Flyers and Persuers seeme ; 

The frighted Fish swim from their Adice, 
The Doggs pursue the Deer, he the fleet streme, 

And that hasts swiftly to the Adrian Sea. 

Refreshed thus in this fleeting Element, 

He up the stedfast Shore did boldly rise ; 
And soon escap'd their view, but not their scent ; 

That faithful Guide which even conducts their Eies. 

This frail relief was like short gales of breath 

Which oft at Sea a long dead calme prepare ; 
Or like our Curtains drawn at point of death, 

When all our Lungs are spent, to give us ayre. 

For on the Shore the Hunters him attend ; 

And whilst the Chace grew warm as is the day 
(WTiich now from the hot Zenith does descend) 

He is imbos'd, and weary'd to a Bay. 

The Jewel, Life, he must surrender here ; 

Which the world's Mistris, Nature, does not give. 
But like drop'd Favours suffers us to weare. 

Such as by which pleas'd Lovers think they live. 

Yet life he so esteems, that he allows 

It all defence his force and rage can make ; 
And to the Regian Race such fury shows 

As their last blood some unreveng'd forsake. 

But now the Monarch Murderer comes in, 

Destructive Man ! whom Nature would not arme, 

As when in madness mischief is foreseen 
We leave it weaponless for fear of hamie. 

For she defencelesse made him that he might 

Less readily offend ; but Art armes all, 
From single strife makes us in Numbers fight ; 

And by such art this Royall Stagg did fall. 

He weeps till grief does even his Murderers pierce ; 

Grief which so nobly through his anger strove, 
That it deserved the dignity of verse. 

And had it words as humanly would move. 

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68 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Thrice from the ground his vanquish'd Head he rear'd, 
And with last looks his Forrest walks did view ; 

Where Sixty Somniers he had rul'd the Heard, 
And where sharp Dittany now vainly grew : 

Whose hoary Leaves no more his wounds shall heale ; 

For with a Sigh (a blast of all his breath) 
That viewlesse thing call'd Life, did from him steale ; 

And with their Bugle Homes they winde his death. 
Gondibert: an heroick Poem, by Sir William D A yen ant, 1651. 

From an Eglogue by Thomas 
Randolph 

COLLEN, THENOT 

Collen, Last Evening Lad, I met a noble Swayne^ 
That spurr'd his spright-full Palfrey ore the playne : 
His head with Ribbands crown'd, and deck't as gay, 



COtSWO LD gjMBS. 




As any Lasse, upon her Bridall day 

I thought (what easie faiths we Sheepheards prove ?) 

This, not the Bull, had beene Europaes love. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 69 

I ask't the cause, they tould mee this was hee, 
Whom this dayes Tryumph, crown'd with victory. 
Many brave Steeds there were, some you should finde 
So fleete, «as they had bin sonnes of the winde. 
Others with hoofes so swifte, beate are * the race. 
As if some Engine shot*um to the place. 
So many, and so well winged Steeds there were, 
As all the broode of Pegasus had bin there, 
Rider and horse could not distinguish'd bee. 
Both seem'd conjoyn'd a Centaures Progeny. 
A numerous troupe they were, yet all so light, 
Earth never groon'd nor felt'um in their flight. 

Such Royall pastimes Cotswold mountaines fill, 
When Gentle swaines visit her glorious Hill : 
WTiere with such packs of Hounds^ they hunting go. 
As Cyrus never woon'd his Bugle too ; 
Whose noise is musicall, and with full cries, 
Beat's ore the Field's, and ecchoes through the skies. 
Orion hearing, wish'd to leave his Spheare ; 
And call his Dogge from heaven, to sport it there. 
Watt though he fled for life, yet joy'd withall, 
So brave a Dirge^ sung forth his Funerall. 
Not Syrens sweetlier rill, Hares^ as they flie 
Looke backe, as glad to listen, loth to die. 

Annalia Dubrensia. Upon tfuyeerely celebration of Mr. Robert Dovers 
Olimpick Games upon Cotswold-Hills^ 1636. 



From 'An Ode to Mr. Anthony Stafford 
to hasten him into the Country' 

Ours is the skie. 
Whereat what fowle we please our Hauke shall flye ; 

Nor will we spare 
To hunt the crafty foxe, or timorous hare, 

But let our hounds runne loose 
In any ground the/1 choose. 
The Bucke shall fall. 
The stagge and all : 
Our pleasures must from their owne warrants bee. 
For to my Muse^ if not to mee, 

Pme sure all game is free ; 
Heaven, Earth, are all but parts of her great Royalty. 

T. Randolph, /'(7tf»M, 6*^., 1638, 
* V.l. ore -over. 



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70 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



'Hide Parke* 

Gr^aXjohn at all adventure and ^r^vc Jockey ^ 

Mounted their severall Mares, I shan'ot tell 

The story out for laughing, ha, ha, ha, 

But this in hn^i^ Jockey was left behind, 

The pitty and the scome of all the oddes. 

Plaid bout my eares like Cannon, but lesse dangerous. 



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I tooke all still, the acclamations \vas 
For Venture, whose disdainefull Mare threw durt 
In my old Jockeys face, all hopes forsaking us. 
Two hundred peeces desperate, and two thousand 
Oathes sent after them, upon the suddaine. 
When we expected no such tricke, we saw 
My rider that was domineering ripe. 
Vault ore his Mare into a tender slough, 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 71 

Where he was much beholding to one shoulder, 
For saving of his necke, his beast recovered, 
And he by this time somewhat mortified, 
Besides mortified, hath left the triumph 
To his Olympick Adversary, who shall 
Ride hither in full pompe on his Bucephalus 
With his victorious bagpipe. 

James Shirley, 1637. 

From ' Coopers Hill ' 



There Faunus and Sylvanus keepe their Courts, 
And thither all the homed hoast resorts, 
To graze the rancker meade, that noble heard, 
On whose sublime and shady fronts is reaM 
Natures great Masterpeece ; to shew how soone 
Great things are made, but sooner are undone, 
Here have I seene the Kingy when great affaires 
Give leave to slacken, and unbend his cares, 
Attended to the Chase by all the flower 
Of youth, whose hopes a Nobler prey devoure : 
Pleasure with Praise, and danger, they would buy. 
And wish a foe that would not only fly. 
The stagg now conscious of his fatall Growth, 
At once indulgent to his feare and sloth. 
To some darke covert his retreat had made. 
Where nor mans eye, nor heavens should invade 
His soft repose ; when th* unexpected sound 
Of doggs, and men, his wakefull eare doth wound. 
Rouz*d with the noyse, he scarse believes his eare. 
Willing to think th' illusions of his feare 
Had given this false Alar'm, but straight his view 
Confirmes, that more than all he feares is true. 
Betra/d in all his strengths, the wood beset. 
All instruments, all Arts of mine met ; 
He calls to mind his strength, and then his speed, 
His winged heeles, and then his armed head ; 
With these f avoyd, with that his Fate to meet : 
But feare prevails, and bids him tmst his feet. 
So fast he flyes, that his reviewing eye 
Has lost the chasers, and his eare the cry ; 
Exulting, till he finds, their Nobler sense 
Their disproportion' d speed does recompense. 
Then curses his conspiring feet, whose scent 
Betrayes that safety which their swiftnesse lent. 
Then tryes his friends, among the baser heard. 
Where he so lately was obey'd, and fear'd, 



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72 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

His safety seeks : the heard, unkindly wise, 

Or chases him from thence, or from him flyes. 

Like a declining Statesman, left forlome 

To his friends pitty, and pursuers scorne, 

With shame remembers, while himselfe was one 

Of the same heard, himselfe the same had done. 

Thence to the coverts, and the conscious Groves, 

The scenes of his past triumphs, and his loves ; 

Sadly surveying where he ranged alone 

Prince of the soyle, and all the heard his owne ; 

And like a bold Knight Errant did proclaime 

Combat to all, and bore away the Dame ; 

And taught the woods to eccho to the streame 

His dreadful! challenge, and his clashing beame.^ 

Yet faintly now declines the fatall strife ; 

So much his love was dearer then his life. 

Now every leafe, and every moving breath 

Presents a foe, and every foe a death. 

Wearied, forsaken, and pursu'd, at last 

All safety in despaire of safety plac'd. 

Courage he thence resumes, resolv'd to beare 

All their assaults, since 'tis in vaine to feare. 

And now too late he wishes for the fight 

That strength he wasted in Ignoble flight : 

But when he sees the eager chase renewed, 

Himselfe by doggs, the doggs by men pursu'd : 

He straight revokes his bold resolve, and more 

Repents his courage, then his feare before ; 

Finds that uncertaine waies unsafest are. 

And Doubt a greater mischiefe then Despaire. 

Then to the streame, when neither friends, nor force, 

Nor speed, nor Art availe, he shapes his course ; 

Thinks not their rage so desperate t' assay. 

An Element more mercilesse then they. 

But feareless they pursue, nor can the flood 

Quench their dire thirst ; alas, they thirst for blood. 

So towards a Ship the oarefin'd Gallyes ply. 

Which wanting Sea to ride, or wind to fly. 

Stands but to fall reveng'd on those that dare 

Tempt the last fury of extreame despayre. 

So fares the Stagg among th' inraged hounds, 

Repells their force, and wounds returns for wounds. 

And as a Hero, whom his baser foes 

In troops surround, now these assailes, now those, 

Though prodigall of life, disdaines to dy 

By common hands ; but if he can descr>' 

Some nobler foes approach, to him he calls, 



head of horns. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 73 

And beggs his Fate, and then contented falls. 
So when the King a mortall shaft lets fly 
From his unerring hand, then glad to dy, 
Proud of the wound, to it resigns his blood, 
And Staines the Chrystall with a Purple flood. 

Coopers Hill. Written in the yeare 1640. Now Printed from a perfect Copy ; 
And Corrected Impression. By John Denham, Esq., 1655. 

From ' The Falcon ' 

Fair Princesse of the spacious Air, 

That hast vouchsaf d acquaintance here, 

With us are quartered below stairs. 

That can reach Heav'n with nought but Prayers ; 

Who when our activist wings we try. 

Advance a foot into the Sky. 

Bright Heir t' th' Bird Imperial, 
From whose avenging penons fall 
Thunder and Lightning twisted Spun ; 
Brave Cousin-german to the Sun, 
That didst forsake thy Throne and Sphere, 
To be an humble Pris*ner here ; 
And for a pirch of her soft hand. 
Resign the Royal Woods command. 

How often would'st thou shoot Heav'ns Ark, 
Then mount thy self into a Lark ; 
And after our short faint eyes call. 
When now a Fly, now nought at all ; 
Then stoop so swift unto our Sence, 
As thouwert sent Intelligence. 

Free beauteous Slave, thy happy feet 
In silver Fetters vervails ^ meet. 
And trample on that noble Wrist 
The Gods have kneePd in vain t' have kist : 
But gaze not, bold deceived Spye, 
Too much oth' lustre of her Eye ; 
The Sun, thou dost out-stare, alas ! 
Winks at the glor>' of her Face. 

Be safe then in thy Velvet helm. 
Her looks are calms that do ore whelm, 
Then the Arabian bird more blest, 
Chafe in the spicery of her breast, 
And loose you in her Breath, a wind 
Sow'rs the delicious gales of Inde, 

^ rings on a hawk's feet. 

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74 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

But now a quill from thine own Wing 
I pluck, thy lofty fate to sing ; 
Whilst we behold the various fight, 
With mingled pleasure and affright, 
The humbler Hinds do fall to pray*r, 
As when an Army's seen i' th' Air 
And the prophetick Spannels run, 
And howle thy Epicedium. 

The Heron mounted doth appear 
On his own Peg*sus a Lanceer, 
And seems on earth, when he doth hut, 
A proper Halberdier on foot ; 
Secure i* th' Moore, about to sup. 
The Dogs have beat his Quarters up 

And now he takes the open air, 
Drawes up his Wings with Tactick care ; 
Whilst th' expert Falcon swift doth climbe, 
In subtle Mazes serpentine ; 
And to advantage closely twin'd 
She gets the upper Sky and Wind, 
Where she dissembles to invade, 
And lies a pol'tick Ambuscade. 

The hedg'd-in Heron^ whom the Foe 
Awaits above, and Dogs below, 
In his fortification lies, 
And makes him ready for surprize ; 
When roused with a shrill alarm, 
Was shouted from beneath, they arm. 

The Falcon charges at first view 
With her brigade of Talons ; through 
W^hose Shoots, the wary Heron beat. 
With a well counterwheel'd retreat. 
But the bold Gen'ral never lost. 
Hath won again her airy Post ; 
Who wild in this affront, now fryes, 
Then gives a Volley of her Eyes. 

The desp'rate Heron now contracts. 
In one design all former facts ; 
Noble he is resolv'd to fall 
His, and his En'mies funerall, 
And (to be rid of her) to dy 
A publick Martyr of the Sky. 

When now he turns his last to wreak 
The palizadoes of his Beak ; 
The raging foe impatient 
Wrack'd .with revenge, and fury rent, 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 

Swift as the Thunderbolt he strikes, 
Too sure upon the stand of Pikes, 
There she his naked breast doth hit 
And on the case of Rapiers* split. 

But ev'n in her expiring pangs 
The Herofis pounc'd within her Phangs, 
And so above she stoops to rise 
A Trophee and a Sacnfice ; 
Whilst her own Bells in the sad fall 
Ring out the double Funerall. 



75 




Ah Victory ! unhap'ly wonne, 
Weeping and Red is set the Sun, 
Whilst the whole Field floats in one tear, 
And all the Air doth mourning wear : 
Close hooded all thy kindred come 
To pay their Vows upon thy Tombe ; 
The Hobby and the Musket too. 
Do march to take their last adieu. 

The Lanner and the Lanneret^ 
Thy Colours bear as Banneret ; 
The Goshawk and her Tercel rows'd, 
With Tears attend thee as new bows'd, 
All these are in their dark array 
Led by the various Herald-Jay, 



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76 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

But thy eternal name shall live 
Whilst Quills from Ashes fame reprieve, 
Whilst open stands Renown's wide dore, 
And Wings are left on which to soar ; 
Doctor Robbifiy the Prelate Pye^ 
And the poetick Swan shall dye, 
Only to sing thy Elegie. 

Richard Ix)Velace, Lucasia, 1659. 

A Horrible, Terrible, Troublesome, 
Historical Narration of a Duel ; 

OR, THE RELATION OF A COCK-FIGHT FOUGHT AT WISBICH 

Into the Pit they're brought, and being there 
Upon the Stage, the Norfolk Chantidere 
Looks stoutly at his ne're-before-seen Foe, . 
And, like a Challenger^ began to crow 
And clap his wings, as if he would display 
His war-like Colours^ which were black and gray. 

Mean time the wary Wisbich walks and breaths 
His active body, and in fury wreaths 
His comely CREST, and, often looking down, 
He beats his angry Beak upon the ground. 
This done they meet : not Hke that Coward breed 
Of ^sofs ; these can better fight than feed. 
They scorn the Dunghill ; 'tis their onely prize 
To dig for Pearls within each others eyes. 
They fought so nimbly that 'twas hard to know, 
To th' skilfull, whether they did fight or no ; 
If that the bloud which died the fatal floor. 
Had not bom witness oft. Yet fought they more ; 
As if each wound were but a Spur to prick 
Their fur>^ forward. Lightning's not more quick 
Or red, than were their eyes. 'Twas hard to know 
Whether 'twas bloud or anger made them so : 



But now the Tragick part ! After this fit 
When Norfolk Cock had got the best of it. 
And Wisbich lay a dying, so that none, 
Though sober, but might venture seven to one. 
Contracting, like a dying Taper^ all 
His strength, intendmg with the blow to fall. 
He struggles up, and having taken wind. 
Ventures a blow, and strikes the other blind. 
And xio^ poor Norfolk, having lost his eyes 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 

Fights guided onely by Antipathies 

With him, alas ! the Proverb is not true, 

The blowes his eyes n^re saw^ his heart must rue. 

At last by chance he stumbling on his Foe, 

Not having any strength to give a blow, 

He falls upon him with his wounded head. 

And makes his Conqueror's wings his feather-bed. 



From ' The Genteel Recreation ' 



Then sometime in a dusky evening late ; 
A grey Snail from the ground I take, 
And gently o'r the stream I troul. 
Tis safe, 'tis sure to try with all, 

If but some Rain the day before did fall. 
For Muddy streams a little vext, 
With falling showers decoy him best : 



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Or, to take a Beetle always brown. 
That Boys from off the Apple-Trees knock down, 
WTiich in an Evening late when all the Stars, 

To Heavens black Cannopy withdraws. 

You may be sure good sport to find, 
If but the following precepts well you mind. 



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78 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Four Wings he has, two scaly, two of softest down 

But with his tail your largest hook encrown ; 

Ne'r hurt him, all his Wings he will expand. 

And Sing a Murmuring Tune the Trouts can understand, 

Who greedy of so sweet a prey, 
Leap straight and bear the Songster quite away. 
When with a sudden touch I feel him rove, 
I soon injoy my wishes and my Love, 
Try this but once, you'll quickly find it true. 
And neatly after this same slight * persue. 
But let no noise the wary Trout offend, 
By stiring ground or reeds, lest vain your wishes end. 

No sooner was compleat my Fishing Geer, 
But that I chanc'd to spie unto me steer. 

Two Carps that were of mighty size. 
My heart e'n leapt to make of one a prize ; 
As they came Sailing careless on their way, 
A well scour'd worm I in their course convay. 

The water there not two foot deep. 
Besides so clear, 
That all their motions plainly did appear, 
Behind a shady Oak conceal' d I stood, 
And with a wary eye observ'd the flood. 

And all their motions as they mov'd. 
Thus while they nearer drew. 
My hopes I still renew, 
They'd nible at my bait, 
Tho after curse me for my sly deceit ; 
And quickly plainly cou'd descry. 
That one had something pleasing to his eye. 
He seem'd to smile and with expanded Jaws, 
Hug'd his good luck and silent gave Applause. 
Till with a gentle touch I hooked him streight. 
While he stood wondring whence should come deceit, 
Under the Luster of so fair a bait ; 

He never seem'd, or scom'd to run. 
But with a sudden yerk his tail did turn. 
And then as suddenly my Joys were gone, 

For my new strand gave way and broke, 

But what's become of worm and hook, 

For both I'm sure he fairly took. 
Vext, no, we Anglers often loose our prize, 
Compleat let all our Tackling be, and most precise. 
For Fishes prove sometimes more wise than we, 
As by this late ensample all may see. 



1 feint. 

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SPORTING EXTRACTS 79 

*Tis pity for to part the Carp and he, 
Since muddy Ponds with both do well agree ; 
One bait doth both delight, 
A worm thaf s red and bright, 

Excells a Thousand trifling things, 
That bungling Anglers to small purpose brings. 
To scare the Fish away : 

Both yield sweet pleasure, both delight, 

Tho both contrary ways do bite. 
And also play, 
Carps eager gape and draw the flote downright, 
Then when he's hung he runs with all his might 

Nor water beats he with his tail. 

Till life and strength together fail ; 
The Tench he only gently sucks the worm, 
And several ways the floting flote will turn, 
Until the hook within his Jaws doth lie. 
Angler forbear, for that once done to th' reeds he'll ply, 
Thinking his prey for to secure and speedy dye. 
One gentle touch he'll beat the water with his tail, 
Imploring help, no help can then prevail. 



Soon from the River then withdraw, 
Unto some Farm, and turn the rotten straw. • 
For IVonns, a Ruby head and body white. 
Are certain signs the Roach at them will bite. 
Get but a few, you need no more to fear. 
But you'll have sport if any Roach are there, 
1 seldom find them at this bait precise ; 
And some I've ta'en with other Fishes eyes. 

One time my baits were spent, 

I thoughtfull was for more. 
When Fortune favoured my Intent, 

And soon suppl/d my store ; 
A sudden fancy in my Nodle came, 

Which I resolved then to try, 
Do you but make experience of the same. 

You may succeed as well as I, 
The Glaring Oculus, great Loves misterious bait, 
That leads the World in errour, Topsy turns a state, 
Which Monarch's more adore, and brighter shines. 
Then all the Glittering stones adorn their Diadems : 
This was my fancy, and I well may say. 
Eyes were my Guide the Fishes to betray, 
For some I Xodk^Jove pardon my Intent, 
To make the blind decoy the Innocent ; 
Wonder no more, 'tis certain true and just, 
Necessity begot Invention first. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 



If but one Inch, or rather on the ground, 
Your Bradling tail, as you the water sound ; 
For he'll ne'er rise, try all the Art you can, 
To take a bait that's from the ground a span. 

A BrcuUingy that his chiefest Love, 

A Genthy sometimes will him move. 
So will the Straw-worm^ from his house drawn clear, 
Shew you the pleasure that in Rivers are. 
A pliant Rod, 
No sturdy Goad, 




That Rustick People use. 

Gives more delight, 

When Gudgeons bite. 
Then all their vain Ostentious shews. 

A Hook that's fine. 

And Taper Line, 
Two or three hairs below. 

May well suffice, 

Unto the wise, 
When they to Angling go. 

The Genteel Recreation, or. The Pleasure of Angling. A Poem with a Dialogue 
Between Piscator and Corydon. By John Whitney a lover of the Angle. 

1700. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 8i 

From ' Epistle the Thirteenth ' 

TO MY HONOURED KINSMAN^ JOHN DRYDEN, . . . 

. . . With crowds attended of your ancient race, 
You seek the champion ^ sports, or sylvan chace : 
With well-breath'd beagles you surround the wood, 
Ev'n then, industrious of the common good : 
And often have you brought the wily fox 
To suffer for the firstlings of the flocks ; 
Chas'd even amid the folds ; and made to bleed. 
Like felons, where they did the murd'rous deed. 
This fiery game your active youth maintained ; 
Not yet by years extinguish'd, tho restrain'd : 
You season still with sports your serious hours : 
For age but tastes of pleasures, youth devours. 
The hare in pastures or in plains is founds 
Emblem of human life, who runs the round ; 
And, after all his wand'ring ways are done. 
His circle fills, and ends where he begun, 
Just as the setting meets the rising sun. 

Thus princes ease their cares ; but happier he, 
Who seeks not pleasure thro necessity, 
Than such as once on slipp'ry thrones were plac'd ; 
And chasing, sigh to think themselves are chas'd. 

So liv'd our sires, ere doctors leam'd to kill, 
And multiply'd with theirs the weekly bill. 
The first physicians by debauch were made : 
Excess began, and sloth sustains the trade. 
Pity the genVous kind their cares bestow 
To search forbidden truths ; (a sin to know :) 
To which if human science could attain. 
The doom of death, pronounc'd by God, were vain. 
In vain the leech would interpose delay ; 
Fate fastens first, and vindicates the prey. 
What help from art's endeavors can we have 1 
Gibbons but guesses, nor is sure to save : 
But Maurus sweeps whole parishes, and peoples ev'r>' grave 
And no more mercy to mankind will use. 
Than when he robb'd and murdered Maro's muse. 
Would'st thou be soon dispatch'd, and perish whole, 
Trust Maurus with thy life, and Milbourn with thy soul. 

By chace our long-liv'd fathers eam'd their food ; 
Toil strung the nerves, and purify'd the blood : 
But we their sons, a pamper'd race of men. 
Are dwindled down to threescore years and ten. 

* open country. 

G 

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82 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Better to hunt in fields, for health unbought. 
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught. 
The wise, for cure, on exercise depend ; 
God never made his work, for man to mend. 

The Miscellaneous Works of John Dryden, 1760. 



From ' Health ; an Eclogue ' 

. . . Come, country Goddess, come ; nor thou suffice, 
iJut bring thy mountain-sister, Exercise. 
Call'd by thy lively voice, she turns her pace, 
Her winding horn proclaims the finish'd chace ; 
She mounts the rocks, she skims the level plain, 
Dogs, hawks, and horses, crowd her early train : 




Her hardy face repels the tanning wind. 
And lines and meshes loosely float behind. 
All these as means of toil the feeble see. 
But these are helps to pleasure joined with thee. 
Let Sloth lye soft'ning till high noon in down. 
Or lolling fan her in the sult'ry town, 



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SPORTJNG EXTRACTS 83 

Unnerv'd with rest ; and turn her own disease, 

Or foster others in luxurious ease : 

I mount the courser, call the deep-mouth'd hounds. 

The fox unkeneird flies to covert grounds ; 

I lead where stags thro' tangled thickets tread, 

And shake the saplings with their branching head ; 

I make the faulcons wing their airy way, 

And soar to seize, or stooping strike their prey ; 

To snare the fish I fix the luring bait ; 

To wound the fowl I load the gun with fate. 

'Tis thus thro' change of exercise I range, 

And strength and pleasure rise from ev'ry change. . . . 

The Works, in Verse and Prose, of Dr. Thomas P Amelia 1767. 



From * Henry and Emma ' 

A Poem upon the Model of the '' Nut- Brown Maid^ 

TO CLOE 

. . . When Emma hunts, in huntsman's habit drest, 
Henry on foot pursues the bounding beast. 
In his right hand his beechen pole he bears : 
And graceful at his side his horn he wears. 
Still to the glade, where she has bent her way, 
With knowing skill he drives the future prey ; 
Bids her decline the hill, and shun the brake ; 
And shews the path her steed may safest take ; 
Directs her spear to fix the glorious wound ; 
Pleas'd in his toils to have her triumph crown'd ; 
And blows her praises in no common sound. 
A falconer Henry is, when Emma hawks : 
With her of tarsels and of lures he talks. 
Upon his wrist the towering merlin stands, 
Practis'd to rise, and stoop at her commands. 
And when superior now the bird has flown. 
And headlong brought the tumbling quarry down ; 
With humble reverence he accosts the fair. 
And with the honour'd feather decks her hair. 
Yet still, as from the sportive field she goes. 
His down-cast eye reveals his inward woes ; 
And by his look and sorrow is exprest, 
A nobler game pursued thart bird or beast. . . . 

Poetical Works of Matt hero Prior, 1779. 



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84 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Selections from 'The Chace' 

* My hoarse-sounding Horn 
Invites thee to the Chace, the Sport of Kings ; 
Image of War, without its Guilt.* 



HARE HUNTING 

BOOK II 

The Horn sonorous calls ; the Pack awak'd 
Their Mattins chant, nor brook my long Delay : 
My Courser hears their Voice ; see there with Ears 
And Tail erect, neighing he paws the Ground ! 
Fierce Rapture kindles in his red'ning Eyes, 
And boils in ev'ry Vein. As captive Boys 
Cow'd by the ruling Rod, and haughty Frowns 
Of Pedagogues severe, from their hard Tasks 
If once dismissed, no Limits can contain 
The Tumult rais'd, within their little Breasts 
But give a Loose to all their frolick Play. 
So from their Kennel rush the joyous Pack ; 
A thousand wanton Gayeties express 
Their inward Extasy, their pleasing Sport 
Once more indulg'd, and Liberty restoi-'d. 
The rising Sun that o'er th' Horizon peeps. 
As many Colours from their glossy Skins 
Beaming reflects, as paint the various Bow 
When April Show'rs descend. Delightful Scene ! 
Where all around is gay, Men, Horses, Dogs, 
And in each smiling Countenance appears 
Fresh-blooming Health, and universal Joy. 

Huntsman, lead on ! behind the clust'ring Pack 
Submiss attend, hear with respect thy Whip 
Loud-clanging, and thy harsher Voice obey : 
Spare not the stragling Cur, that wildly roves, 
But let thy brisk Assistant on his Back 
Imprint thy just Resentments, let each Lash 
Bite to the Quick, 'till howling he return 
And whining creep amid the trembling Crowd. 

Here on this verdant Spot, where Nature kind. 
With double Blessings crowns the Farmer's Hopes ; 
Wher Flow'rs autumnal Spring, and the rank Mead 
Affords the wand' ring Hares a rich Repast ; 
Throw off thy ready Pack. See, where they spread 
And range around, and dash the glitt'ring Dew. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 8$ 

If some stanch Hound, with his authentick Voice, 

Avow the recent Trail, the justling Tribe 

Attend his Call, then with one mutual Cry, 

The welcome News confirm, and echoing Hills 

Repeat the pleasing Tale. See how they thread 

The Brakes, and up yon Furrow drive along I 

But quick they back recoil, and wisely check 

Their eager Haste ; then o*er the fallowed Ground 

How leisurely they work, and many a Pause 

Th' harmonious Consort breaks ; 'till more assured 

With Joy redoubled the low Vallies ring. 

What artful Labyrinths perplex their Way ! 

Ah ! there she lies ; how close ! she pants, she doubts 

If now she lives ; she trembles as she sits. 

With Horror seifd. The withered Grass that clings 

Around her Head, of the same russet Hue 

Almost deceived my Sight, had not her Eyes 

With Life full-beaming her vain Wiles betra/d. 

At Distance draw thy Pack, let all be hush'd. 

No Clamour loud, no frantick J[oy be heard. 

Lest the wild Hound run gadding o'er the Plain 

Untractable, nor hear thy chiding Voice. 

Now gently put her off ; see how direct 

To her known Muse * she flies ! Here Huntsman bring 

(But without hurry) all thy jolly Hounds, 

And calmly lay them in. How low they stoop. 

And seem to plough the Ground ! then all at once 

With greedy Nostrils snuff the fuming Steam 

That glads their flutt'ring Hearts. As Winds let loose 

From the dark Caverns of the blust'ring God, 

They burst away, and sweep the dewy Lawn. 

Hope gives them Wings, while she's spur'd on by Fear. 

The Welkin rings, Men, Dogs, Hills, Rocks, and Woods 

In the full Consort join. Now my brave Youths, 

Stripp'd for the Chace, give all your Souls to Joy ! 

See how their Coursers, than the Mountain Roe 

More fleet, the verdant Carpet skim, thick Clouds 

Snorting they breath, their shining Hoofs scarce print 

The Grass unbruis'd ; with Emulation fir'd 

They strain to lead the Field, top the barr'd Gate, 

O'er the deep Ditch exulting Bound, and brush 

The thorny- twining Hedge : The Riders bend 

O'er their arch'd Necks ; with steady Hands, by turns 

Indulge their Speed, or moderate their Rage. 

Where are their Sorrows, Disappointments, Wrongs, 

Vexations, Sickness, Cares ? AH, all are gone. 

And with the panting Winds lag far behind. 

' gap in the hedge. 

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86 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Huntsman ! her Gate observe, if in wide Rings 
She wheel her mazy Way, in the same Round 
Persisting still, she'll foil the beaten Track. 
But if she fly, and with the fav'ring Wind 
Urge her bold Course ; less intricate thy Task : 
Push on thy Pack. Like some poor exil'd Wretch 
The frighted Chace leaves her late dear Abodes, 
0*er Plains remote she stretches far away, 
Ah ! never to return ! For greedy Death 
Hov'ring exults, secure to seize his Prey. 

Hark ! from yon Covert, where those tow'ring Oaks 
Above the humble Copse aspiring rise, 
What glorious Triumphs burst in ev'ry Gale 
Upon our ravish'd Ears ! The Hunters shout, 
The clanging Horns swell their sweet- winding Notes, 
The Pack wide-op'ning load the trembling Air 
With various Melody ; from Tree to Tree 
The propagated Cr>% redoubling Bounds, 
And winged Zephirs waft the floating Joy 
Thro' all the regions near : Afldictive Birch 
No more the School-boy dreads, his Prison broke, 
Scamp'ring he flies, nor heeds his Master's Call. 
The weary Traveller forgets his Road, 
And climbs th' adjacent Hill ; the Ploughman leaves 
Th' unfinish'd Furrow ; nor his bleating Flocks 
Are now the Shepherd's Joy ; Men, Boys, and Girls 
Desert th' unpeopled Village ; and wild Crowds 
Spread o'er the Plain, by the sweet Frenzy seiz'd. 
Look, how she pants I and o'er yon op'ning Glade 
Slips glancing by ; while at the further PInd, 
The puzling Pack unravel Wile by Wile 
Maze within Maze. The Covert's utmost Bound 
Slyly she skirts ; behind them cautious creeps, 
And in that very Track, so lately stain'd 
By all the steaming Crowd, seems to pursue 
The Foes she flies. Let Cavillers deny 
That Brutes have Reason ; sure 'tis something more, 
'Tis Heav'n directs, and Stratagems inspires, 
Beyond the short Extent of humane Thought. 

But hold I see her from the Covert break ; 

Sad on yon little Eminence she sits ; 

Intent she listens with one Ear erect, 

Pond'ring, and doubtful what new Course to take. 

And how t' escape the fierce blood-thirsty Crew, 

That still urge on, and still in Vollies loud. 

Insult her Woes, and mock her sore Distress. 

As now in louder Peals, the loaded Winds 

Bring on the gath'ring Storm, her Fears prevail ; 

And o'er the Plain, and o'er the Mountain's Ridgcp^^^T^ 

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87 



Away she flies ; nor Ships with Wind and Tide, 
And all their Canvass Wings skud half so fast. 
Once more, ye jovial Train, your Courage try. 
And each clean Courser's Speed. We scour along, 
In pleasing Hurry and Confusion tost ; 
Oblivion to be wish'd. The patient Pack 
Hang on the Scent unwear/d, up they climb, 
And ardent we pursue ; our lab'ring Steeds 
We press, we gore ; till once the Summit gain'd. 
Painfully panting, there we breath awhile ; 
Then like a foaming Torrent, pouring down 
Precipitant, we smoke along the Vale. 




Happy the Man, who with unrival'd Speed 
Can pass his Fellows, and with Pleasure view 
The struggling Pack ; how in the rapid Course 
Alternate they preside, and justling push 
To guide the dubious Scent ; how giddy Youth 
Olt babbling errs, by wiser Age reprov'd ; 
How nigard of his Strength, the wise old Hound 
Hangs in the Rear, 'till some important Point 
Rouse all his Diligence, or 'till the Chace 
Sinking he finds ; then to the Head he springs 
With Thirst of Glory fir'd, and wins the Prize. 
Huntsman, take heed ; they stop in full career. 
Yon crowding F'locks, that at a Distance gaze, 

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88 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Have haply foird the Turf. See ! that old Hound, 
How busily he works, but dares not trust 
His doubtful Sense ; draw yet a wider Ring. 
Hark ! now again the Chorus fills. As Bells 
Sall/d a while at once their Peal renew. 
And high in Air the tuneful Thunder rolls. 
See, how they toss, with animated Rage 

Recov'ring all they lost ! That eager Haste 

Some doubling Wile foreshews. Ah I yet once more 

They're checked, — hold back with Speed — on either Hand 

They flourish round— ev'n yet persist — ^'Tis Right, 

Away they Spring ; the rustling Stubbles bend 

Beneath the driving Storm. Now the poor Chace 

Begins to flag, to her last Shifts reduc'd. 

From Brake to Brake she flies, and visits all 

Her well-known Haunts, where once she rang'd secure. 

With Love and Plenty blest. See ! there she goes, 

She reels along, and by her (iate betrays 

Her inward Weakness. See, how black she looks ! 

The Sweat that clogs th' obstructed Pores, scarce leaves 

A languid Scent. And now in open View 

See, see, she flies ! each eager Hound exerts 

His utmost Speed, and stretches ev'ry Nerve 

How quick she turns ! Their gaping Jaws eludes. 

And yet a Moment lives ; 'till round inclos'd 

By all the greedy Pack, with infant Screams 

She yields her Breath, and there reluctant dies. 

FOX HUNTING 

BOOK III 

For these nocturnal Thieves, Huntsman, prepare 
Thy sharpest Vengeance. Oh I how glorious 'tis 
To right th' oppress'd, and bring the Felon vile 
To just Disgrace ! f2'er yet the Morning peep. 
Or Stars retire from the first Blush of Day, 
With thy far-ecchoing Voice alarm thy Pack, 
And rouse thy bold Compeers. Then to the Copse, 
Thick with entangling (irass, or prickly Furze 
With Silence lead thy many-colour'd Hounds 
In all their Beauty's Pride. See ! how they range 
Dispersed, how busily this W^ay and that, 
They cross, examining with curious Noise 
Each likely Haunt. Hark I on the Drag I hear 
Their doubtful Notes, preluding to a Cr>' 
More nobly full, and swell'd with ev'ry Mouth. 
As stragling Armies, at the Trumpet's Voice, 
Press to their Standard ; hither all repair. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 89 

And huiT>' thro' the Woods ; with hasty Step 
Rustling, and full of Hope ; now driv'n on Heaps 
They push, they strive ; While from his Kennel sneaks 
The conscious Villain. See ! he skulks along, 
Slick at the Shepherd's Cost, and plump with Meals 
Purloin'd. So thrive the Wicked here below. 
Tho' high his Brush he bear, tho' tipt with white 
It gayly shine ; yet e're the Sun declin'd 
Recall the Shades of Night, the pamper'd Rogue 
Shall rue his Fate revers'd ; and at his Heels 
Behold the just Avenger, swift to seize 
His forfeit Head, and thirsting for his Blood. 

Heavens ! what melodious Strains ! how beat our Hearts 
Big with tumultuous Joy ! the loaded Gales 
Breath Harmony ; and as the Tempest drives 
From Wood to Wood, thro' ev'ry dark Recess 
The Forest thunders, and the Mountains shake. 
The Chorus swells ; less various, and less sweet 
The trilling Notes, when in those very Groves, 
The feather'd Choristers salute the Spring, 
And ev'ry Bush in Consort joins ; or when 
The Master's Hand, in modulated Air, 
Bids the loud Organ breath, and all the Pow'rs 
Of Musick in one Instrument combine. 
An universal Minstrelsy. And now 
In vain each Earth he tries, the Doors are barr'd 
Impregnable, nor is the Covert safe ; 
He pants the purer Air. Hark ! what loud Shouts 
Re-eccho thro' the Groves ! he breaks away, 
Shrill Horns proclaim his Flight. Each stragling Hound 
Strains o'er the Lawn to reach the distant Pack. 
Tis Triumph all and Joy. Now, my brave Youths, 
Now give a Loose to the clean gen'rous Steed , 
Flourish the Whip, nor spare the galling Spur ; 
But in the Madness of Delight, forget 
Your Fears. Far o'er the rocky Hills we range, 
And dangerous our Course ; but in the Brave 
True Courage never fails. In vain the Stream 
In foaming Eddies whirls ; in vain the Ditch 
Wide-gaping threatens Death. The craggy Steep, 
Where the poor dizzy Shepherd crawls with Care, 
And clings to ev'ry Twig, gives us no Pain ; 
But down we sweep, as stoops the Falcon bold 
To pounce his Prey. Then up th' opponent Hill, 
By the swift Motion slung, we mount aloft. 
So Ships in Winter-Seas now sliding sink 
Adown the steepy Wave ; then toss'd on high 
Ride on the Billows, and defy the Storm. 



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90 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



What Lengths we pass ! where will the wand'ring Chace 
Lead us bewildered I smooth as Swallows skim 
The new-shorn Mead, and far more swift we fly. 
See my brave Pack ! how to the Head they press, 
JustHng in close Array, then more diffuse 
Obliquelv wheel, while from their opening Mouths 
The vollied Thunder breaks. So when the Cranes 
Their annual Voyage steer, with wanton Wing 
Their Figure oft they change, and their loud clang 
From Cloud to Cloud rebounds. How far behind 
The Hunter-Crew, wide-stragling o'er the Plain ! 




Till ti hin ^ty EATth > i«k*i i. 3u btd " iHe^ fil* 



The panting Courser now with trembling Nerves 
Begins to reel ; urg'd by the goreing Spur, 
Makes many a faint Effort : He snorts, he foams ; 
The big round Drops run trickling down his Sides, ' 
With Sweat and Blood distain'd. Look back and view 
The strange Confusion of the Vale below. 
Where sow'r Vexation reigns ; see, yon poor Jade, 
In vain th' impatient Rider frets and swears 
With galling Spurs harrows his mangled Sides ; 
He can no more : His stiff unpliant Limbs 
Rooted in Earth, unmoved, and fix'd he stands, 
For ev'ry cruel Curse returns a Groan, 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 91 

And sobs, and faints, and dies. Who without Grief 

Can view that pamper'd Steed, his Master's Joy, 

His Minion, and his daily Care, well cloath'd, 

Well-fed with ev'ry nicer Cate ; no Cost, 

No Labour spared ; who, when the flying Chace 

Broke from the Copse, without a Rival led 

The numerous Train : Now a sad Spectacle 

Of Pride brought low, and humbled Insolence, 

Drove like a pannier'd Ass, and scourg'd along. 

While these with loosen'd Reins, and dangling Heels, 

Hang on their reeling Palfreys, that scarce bear 

Their Weights ; another in the treacherous Bog 

Lies flound ring half ingulph d. What biteing Thoughts 

Torment th' abandoned Crew ! old Age lanients 

His Vigour spent : The tall, plump, brawny Youth 

Curses his cumb'rous Bulk ; and envies now 

The short Pygmean Race, he whilom kenn'd 

With proud insulting Leer. A chosen few 

Alone the Sport enjoy, nor droop beneath 

Their pleasing Toils. Here, Huntsman, from this Height 

Observe yon Birds of Prey ; if I can judge, 

'Tis there the Villain lurks ; they hover round 

And claim him as their own. Was I not right } 

See ! there he creeps along ; his Brush he drags, 

And sweeps the Mire impure ; from his wide Jaws 

His Tongue unmoisten'd hangs ; Symptoms too sure 

Of sudden Death. Hah ! yet he flies, nor yields 

To black Despair. But one Loose more, and all 

His Wiles are vain. Hark I thro' yon Village now 

The rattling Clamour rings. The Barns, the Cots 

And leafless Elms return the joyous Sounds 

Thro' ev^ry Honiestall, and thro' ev'ry Yard, 

His midnight Walks, panting, forlorn, he flies ; 

Thro' ev'ry Hole he sneaks, thro' ev'ry Jakes 

Plunging he wades besmear'd, and fondly hopes 

In a superior Stench to lose his own : 

But faithful to the Track, th' unerring Hounds 

With Peals of ecchoing Vengeance close pursue. 

And now distress'd, no shelt'ring Covert near 

Into the Hen-roost creeps, whose Walls with Gore 

Distain'd attest his Guilt. There, Villain, there 

Expect thy Fate dcserv'd. And soon from thence 

The Pack inquisitive, with Clamour loud, 

Drag out their trembling Prize ; and on his Blood 

With greedy Transport feast. In bolder Notes 

Each sounding Horn proclaims the Felon dead : 

And th' assembled Village shouts for Joy. 

The Farmer who beholds his mortal Foe c 

Stretch'd at his Feet, applauds the glorious Deed, 



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92 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

And grateful calls us to a short Repast : 
In the full Glass the liquid Amber smiles, 
Our native Product. And his good old Mate 
With choicest Viands, heaps the HbVal Board, 
To crown our Triumphs, and reward our Toils. 



OTTER HUNTING 

BOOK. IV 

One Labour yet remains, celestial Maid ! 

Another Element demands thy Song. 

No more o'er craggy Steeps, thro' Coverts thick 

With pointed Thorn, and Briers intricate. 

Urge on with Horn and Voice the painful Pack : 

But skim with wanton Wing th' irriguous Vale, 

Where winding Streams amid the flow'ry Meads 

Perpetual glide along ; and undermine 

The cavern'd Banks, by the tenacious Roots 

Of hoary Willows arch'd ; gloomy Retreat 

Of the bright scaly kind ; where they at Will, 

On the green wat'ry Reed their Pasture graze. 

Suck the moist Soil, or slumber at their Ease, 

Rock'd by the restless Brook, that draws aslope 

Its humid Train, and laves their dark Abodes. 

Where rages not Oppression ? Where, alas ! 

Is Innocence secure ? Rapine and Spoil 

Haunt ev'n the lowest Deeps ; Seas have their Shark 

Rivers and Ponds inclos'd, the rav'nous Pike ; 

He in his Turn becomes a Prey ; on him 

Th' amphibious Otter feasts. Just is his Fate 

Deserv'd : But Tyrants know no Bounds ; nor Spears 

That bristle on his Back, defend the Perch 

From his wide greedy Jaws ; nor burnish'd Mail 

The yellow Carp \ nor all his .Arts can save 

Th' insinuating Eel, that hides his Head 

Beneath the slimy Mud ; nor yet escapes 

The crimson-spotted Trout, the River's Pride, 

And Beauty of the Stream. Without Remorse, 

This midnight Pillager ranging around. 

Insatiate swallows all. The Owner mourns 

Th' unpeopled Rivulet, and gladly hears 

The Huntsman's early Call, and sees with Joy 

The jovial Crew, that march upon its Banks 

In gay Parade, with bearded Lances arm'd. 

This subtle Spoiler of the Beaver kind, 
Far off perhaps, where ancient Alders shade 
The deep still Pool ; within some hollow Trunk 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 93 

Contrives his wicker Couch ; Whence he surveys 
His long Purlieu, Lord of the Stream, and all 
The finny Shoals his own. But you, brave Youths, 
Dispute the Felon*s Claim ; try ev'ry Root, 
And ev'ry reedy Bank ; encourage all 
The busy-spreading Pack, that fearless plunge 
Into the Flood, and cross the rapid Stream. 
Bid Rocks, and Caves, and each resounding Shore, 
Proclaim your bold Defiance ; loudly raise 
Each chearing Voice, 'till distant Hills repeat 
The Triumphs of the Vale. On the soft Sand 
See there his Seal impress'd ! and on that Bank 
Behold the glittVing Spoils, half-eaten Fish, 
Scales, Fins, and Bones, the Leavings of his Feast 
Ah ! on that yielding Sag-bed, see, once more, 
His Seal I view. O'er yon dank rushy Marsh 
The sly Goose-footed Proler bends his Course, 
And seeks the distant Shallows. Huntsman, bring 
Thy eager Pack ; and trail him to his Couch. 
Hark ! the loud Peal begins, the clam'rous Joy, 
The gallant Chiding, loads the trembling Air. 

Ye Naiads fair, who o'er these Floods preside. 
Raise up your dripping Heads above the Wave, 
And hear our Melody. Th' harmonious Notes 
Float with the Stream ; and ev'ry winding Creek 
And hollow Rock, that o'er the dimpling Flood 
Nods pendant ; still improve from Shore to Shore 
Our sweet reiterated Joys. What Shouts ! 
What Clamour loud ! What gay heart-chearing Sounds 
Urge thro' the breathing Brass their mazy Way ! 
Not Quires of Tritons glad with sprightlier Strains 
The dancing Billows ; when proud Neptune rides 
In Triumph o'er the Deep. How greedily 
They snuff the fishy Steam, that to each Blide ' 
Rank-scenting Clings ! See ! how the Morning Dews 
They sweep, that from their Feet besprinkling drop 
Dispers'd, and leave a Track oblique behind. 
Now on firm Land they range ; then in the Flood 
They plunge tumultuous ; or thro' reedy Pools 
Rustling they work their Way ; no Holt escapes 
Their curious Search. With quick Sensation now 
The fuming Vapour stings ; flutter their Hearts, 
And Joy redoubled bursts from ev'ry Mouth, 
In louder Symphonies. Yon hollow Trunk, 
That with its hoary Head incurv'd, salutes 
The passing Wave ; must be the Tyrant's Fort 
And dread abode. How these impatient climb, 

' 2nd edit, blade. 



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94 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

While others at the Root incessant Bay : 
They put him down. See, there he dives along I 
Th' ascending Bubbles mark his gloomy Way. 
Quick fix the Nets, and cut off his Retreat 
Into the shelt'ring Deeps. Ah, there he Vents ! 
The Pack plunge headlong, and protended Spears 
Menace Destruction. While the troubled Surge 
Indignant foams, and all the scaly Kind 
Affrighted, hide their Heads. Wild Tumult reigns, 
And loud uproar. Ah, there once more he Vents ! 
See, that bold Hound has seiz'd him ; down they sink, 



OTTER JblVlTTrBi^C 




Together lost : But soon shall he repent 

His rash Assault. See, there escap'd, he flies 

Half drown'd, and clambers up the slipp'ry Bank 

With Ouze and Blood distain'd. Of all the Brutes, 

Whether by Nature fonn'd, or by long Use, 

This artful Diver best can bear the Want 

Of vital Air. Unequal is the Fight, 

Beneath the whelming Element. Yet there 

He lives not long ; but Respiration needs 

At proper Intervals. Again he vents ; 

Again the Crowd attack. That Spear has pierc'd 

His Neck ; the crimson Waves confess the Wound. 

Fix'd is the bearded Lance, unwelcome Guest, 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 95 

Whcrc-e'er he flies ; with him it sinks beneath. 

With him it mounts ; sure Guide to ev'ry Foe. 

Inly he groans, nor can his tender Wound 

Bear the cold Stream. Lo ! to yon sedgy Bank 

He creeps disconsolate ; his numerous Foes 

Surround him, Hounds, and Men. Pierc'd thro' and thro,' 

On pointed Spears they lift him high in Air ; 

Wriggling he hangs, and grins, and bites in vain : 

Bid the loud Horns, in gayly- warbling Strains, 

Proclaim the Felon's Fate ; he dies, he dies. 

William Somkrvile, 1735. 

From ' Windsor Forest ' 

Ye vigorous Swains ! while youth ferments your blood, 
And purer spirits swell the sprightly flood, 
Now range the hills, the thickest woods beset. 
Wind the shrill horn, or spread the waving net. 
When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds. 
And in the new-shorn field the Partridge feeds, 
Before his Lord the ready Spaniel bounds. 
Panting with hope, he tries the furrow'd grounds, 
But when the tamted gales the game betray, 
Couch'd close he lies, and meditates the prey ; 
Secure they trust th' unfaithful field, beset, 
Till hov'ring o'er 'em sweeps the swelling net. 
Thus (if small things we may with great compare) 
When Albion sends her eager sons .to war, 
Pleas'd, in the Gen'ral's sight, the host lie down 
Sudden, before some unsuspecting town. 
The young, the old, one instant makes our prize, 
And high in air Britannids standard flies. 

See ! from the brake the whirring Pheasant springs. 
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings. 
Short is his joy ; he feels the fiery wound. 
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground. 
Ah ! what avail his glossy, varying dyes. 
His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes. 
The vivjd green his shining plumes unfold, 
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold.^ 
Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky 
The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny. 
To plains with well-breath'd beagles we repair. 
And trace the mazes of the circling hare. 
(Beasts, taught by us, their fellow beasts pursue. 
And learn of man each other to undo.) 
With slaught'ring guns th' unwear/d fowler roves, 
When frosts have whiten'd all the naked groves ; 



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96 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade, 
And lonely woodcocks haunt the watry glade. 
He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye ; 
Strait a short thunder breaks the frozen sky. 
Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath, 
The clam'rous Plovers feel the leaden death ; 
Oft, as the mounting Larks their notes prepare, 
They fall, and leave their little lives in air. 

In genial Spring, beneath the quiv'ring shade, 
Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead, 
The patient fisher takes his silent stand. 
Intent, his angle trembling in his hand ; 
With looks unmov'd, he hopes the scaly breed. 
And eyes the dancing cork, and bending reed. 
Our plenteous streams a various race supply ; 
The bright-e/d perch with fins of Tyrian die, 
The silver eel, in shining volumes roll'd. 
The yellow carp, in scales bedrop'd with gold, 
.Swift trouts, diversif/d with crimson stains. 
And pykes, the tyrants of the watry plains. 

Now Cancer glows with Phoebu^ fiery car ;. 
The youth rush eager to the sylvan war ; 
Swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround, 1 

Rowze the fleet hart, and chear the opening hound. | 

Th' impatient courser pants in ev'ry vein, I 

And pawing, seems to beat the distant plain, j 

Hills, vales, and floods appear already cross'd, 

And 'ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost. | 

See I the bold youth strain up the threat'ning steep. 
Rush thro* the thickets, down the vallies sweep, 

Hang o*er their coursers heads with eager speed, \ 

And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed . . . 

Alf:xander Popk, 1713. 

From ' Health ' : A Poem 

But active Hilaris much rather loves. 

With eager Stride to trace the Wilds and Groves ; 

To start the Covy, or the bounding Roe, 

Or work destructive Reynard's Overthrow : 

The Race delights him. Horses are his Care, 

And a stout ambling Pad his easiest Chair. 

Sometimes to firm his Nerves he'll plunge the Deep, 

And with expanded Arms the Billows sweep : 

Then on the Links, or in the Estler Walls, 

He drives the Gowff, or strikes the Tennis Balls, 

From Ice with Pleasure he can brush the Snow, 

And run rejoycing with his Curling Throw ; 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 97 

Or send the whizzing Arrow from the String, 

A manly Game which by itself I sing. 

Thus chearfiilly he'll walk, ride, dance or game, 

Nor mind the Northern Blast, or Southern Flame. 

East Winds may blow, and sullen Fogs may fall. 

But his hale Constitution's Proof to alL 

He knows no Change of Weather by a Com, 

Nor minds the black, the blew or ruddy Mom. 

Ai.i.AN Ramsay, Poems, 1728. 




From ' Rural Sports ' 

You, who the Sweets of Rural Life have known, 
Despise th' ungrateful Hurry of the Town ; 
'Midst Windsor Groves your easie Hours employ. 
And, undisturb'd, your self and Muse enjoy. 
Soft flowing Thames his mazy Course retains, 
And in suspence admires thy charming Strains ; 
The River-Gods and Nymphs about thee throng, 
To hear the Syrens warble in thy Song. 
But I, who ne'er was bless'd from Fortune's Hand, 
Nor brighten'd Plough-shares in Patemal Land, 
Have long been in the noisie Town immur'd, 
Respir'd it's Smoak, and all it's Toils endur'd. 
Have courted Bus'ness with successless Pain, 
And in Attendance wasted Years in vain ; 



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98 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Where News and Politicks amuse Mankind, 

And Schemes of State involve th' uneasie Mind 

Faction embroils the World ; and ev'ry Tongue 

Is fraught with Malice, and with Scandal hung: 

Friendship, for Sylvan Shades, does Courts despise. 

Where all must yield to Interest's dearer Ties ; 

Each Rival Machiavel with Envy bums, 

And Honesty forsakes them All by turns ; 

Whilst Calumny upon each Party's thrown, 

Which Both abhor, and Both alike disown. 

Thus have I, 'midst the brawls of factious Strife, 

Long undergone the Drudgery of Life ; 

On Courtiers Promises I founded Schemes, 

Which still deluded me, like golden Dreams ; 

Expectance wore the tedious Hours away, 

And glimm'ring Hope roll'd on each lazy Day. 

Resolved at last no more Fatigues to bear. 

At once I both forsook the Town and Care ; 

At a kind Friend's a calm Asylum chose, 

And bless'd my harrass'd Mind with sweet Repose, 

Where Fields and Shades, and the refreshing Clime, 

Inspire the Sylvan Song, and prompt my Rhime. 

My Muse shall rove through flow'ry Meads and Plains, 

And Rural Sports adorn these homely Strains, 

And the same Road ambitiously pursue. 

Frequented by the Mantuan Swam, and You. 

Now did the Spring her Native Sweets diffuse. 
And feed the chearful Plains with wholesome Dews ; 
A Kindly Warmth th' approaching Sun bestows, 
And o'er the Year a verdant Mantle throws ; 
The jocund Fields their gaudiest Liv'ry wear. 
And breath fresh Odours through the wanton Air ; 
The gladsome Birds begin their various Lays, 
And fill with warbling Songs the blooming Sprays ; 
No swelling Inundation hides the Grounds, 
But crystal Currents glide within their Bounds ; 
The sporting Fish their wonted Haunts forsake. 
And in the Rivers wide Excursions take ; 
They range with frequent Leaps the shallow Streams, 
And their bright Scales reflect the daz'ling Beams. 
The Fisherman does now his Toils prepare, 
And Arms himself with ev'ry watry Snare, 
He meditates new Methods to betray, 
Threat'ning Destruction to the finny Prey. 

When floating Clouds their spongy Fleeces drain. 
Troubling the Streams with swift-descending Rain, 
And Waters, tumbling down the Mountain's Side, 
Bear the loose Soil into the swelling Tide ; 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 99 

Then, soon as Vernal Gales begin to rise 
And drive the liquid Burthen through the Skies, 
The Fisher strait his Taper Rod prepares. 
And to the Neighboring Stream in haste repairs ; 
Upon a rising Border of the Brook 
He sits him down, and ties the treacherous Hook ; 
A twining Earth-worm he draws on with Care, 
With which he neatly hides the pointed Snare. 
Now Expectation chears his Eager thought, 
His Bosom glows with Treasures yet uncaught, 
Before his Eyes a Banquet seems to stand. 
The kind Effects of his industrious Hand. 

Into the Stream the twisted Hair he throws, 
Which gently down the murmuring Current flows ; 
When if or Chance or Hunger's powerful Sway 
Directs a ranging Trout this fatal way. 
He greedily sucks in the tortur'd Bait, 
And shoots away with the fallacious Meat. 
The trembling Rod the joyful Angler eyes, 
And the strait Line assures him of the Prize ; 
With a (juick Hand the nibbled Hook he draws, 
And strikes the barbed Steel within his Jaws : 
The Fish now flounces with the startling Pain, 
And, plunging, strives to free himself, in vain : 
Into the thinner Element he*s cast. 
And on the verdant Margin gasps his Last. 

He must not cv^ry Worm promiscuous use, 
Judgment will tell him proper Bait to chuse ; 
The Worm that draws a long immoderate Size 
The Trout abhors, and the rank Morsel flies ; 
But if too small, the naked Fraud's in sight, 
And Fear forbids, while Hunger does invite. 
Their shining Tails when a deep Yellow stains, 
That Bait will well reward the Fisher's Pains : 
Cleanse them from Filth, to give a tempting Gloss, 
Cherish the sull/d Animals with Moss ; 
Where they rejoice, wreathing around in Play, 
And from their Bodies wipe their native Clay. 

But when the Sun displays his glorious Beams, 
And falling Rivers flow with Silver Streams, 
When no moist Clouds the radiant Air invest. 
And Flora in her richest State is drest. 
Then the disporting Fish the Cheat survey, 
Bask in the Sun, and look into the Day. 
You now a more delusive Art must try, 
And tempt their Hunger with the Curious Fly ; 
Your wary Steps must not advance too near. 
Whilst all your Hope hangs on a single Hair ; 

H 2 



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loo THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Upon the curling Surface let it glide, 

With Natural Motion from thy Hand suppl/d, 

Against the Stream now let it gently play, 

Now in the rapid Eddy roll away ; 

The sporting Fish leaps at the floating Bait, 

And in the dainty Morsel seeks his Fate. 

Thus the nice Epicure^ whom Lux'ry sways, 

Who ev'ry Cravmg of his Taste obeys, 

Makes his false Appetite his only Care, 

In poignant Sauce disguises all his Fare ; 

And whilst he would his vicious Palate please, 

In ev'ry Bit sucks in a new Disease ; 

The Cook destroys with his compounding Art, 

And dextrously performs the Doctor's Part. 

To frame the little Animal, provide 
All the gay Hues that wait on Female Pride, 
Let Nature guide thee ; sometimes Golden Wire 
The glitt'ring Bellies of the Fly require ; 
The Peacocks Plumes thy Tackle must not fail, 
Nor the dear Purchase of the Sable's Tail. 
Each gaudy Bird some slender Tribute brings, 
And lends the growing Insect proper Wings, 
Silks of all Colours must their Aid impart. 
And ev'ry Fur promote the Fisher's Art. 
So the gay Lady, with Expensive Care, 
Borrows the Pride of Land, of Sea, and Air ; 
Furs, Pearls, and Plumes, the Painted Thing displays, 
Dazles our Eyes, and easie Hearts betrays. 

Mark well the various Seasons of the Year, 
How the succeeding Insect Race appear ; 
In this revolving Moon one Colour reigns, 
Which in the next the fickle Trout disdains. 
Oft' have I seen a skillful Angler try 
The various Colours of the treach'rous Fly ; 
When he with fruitless Pain hath skim'd the Brook, 
And the coy Fish rejects the skipping Hook, 
He shakes the Boughs that on the Margin grow. 
Which o'er the Streams a waving Forrest throw ; 
When if an Insect falls, (his certain Guide) 
He gently takes him from the whirling Tide ; 
Examines well his Form with curious Eyes, 
His gaudy Colours, Wings, his Horns and Size, 
Then round his Hook a proper Fur he winds. 
And on the Back a speckled Feather binds, 
So just the Properties in ev'ry part. 
That even Nature's Hand revives in Art. 
His new-form'd Creature on the Water moves, 
The roving Trout th' inviting Snare approves. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS loi 

Upon his Skill successful Sport attends, 
The Rod, with the succeeding Burthen, bends ; 
The Fishes sail along, and in Surprize 
Behold their Fellows drawn into the Skies ; 
When soon they rashly seize the deadly Bait, 
And Lux'ry draws them to their Fellow's Fate. 

When a brisk Gale against the Current blows, 
And all the watry Plain in Wrinkles flows, 
Then let the Fisherman his Art repeat, 
Where bubbling Eddys favour the Deceit. 
If an huge scaly Salmon chance to spy 
The wanton Errors of the swimming Fly, 
He lifts his Silver Gills above the Flood, 
And greedily sucks in th' unfaithful Food ; 
Then plunges down with the deceitful Prey, 
And bears with Joy the little Spoils away. 
Soon in smart Pains he feels the dire Mistake, 
Lashes the Waves, and beats the foamy Lake, 
With sudden Rage he now aloft appears. 
And in his Look convulsive Anguish bears ; 
And now again, impatient of the Wound, 
He rolls and wreathes his shining Body round ; 
Then headlong shoots himself into the Tide, 
And trembling Fins the boiling Waves divide ; 
Now Hope and Fear the Fisher's Heart employ, 
His smiling Looks glow with depending Joy, 
He views the trembling Fish with eager Eyes, 
While his Line stretches with th' unwieldly Prize ; 
Each Motion humours with his steady Hands, 
And a slight Hair the mighty Bulk commands ; 
Till tir'd at last, despoiPd of all his Strength, 
The Fish athwart the Streams unfolds his Length. 
He now, with Pleasure, views the gasping Prize 
Gnash his sharp Teeth, and roll his Blood-shot Eyes, 
Then draws him t'wards the Shore, with gentle Care, 
And holds his Nostrils in the sick'ning Air : 
Upon the burthen'd Stream he floating lies, 
Stretches his quivering Fins, and panting dies 
So the Coquet th' unhappy Youth ensnares. 
With artful Glances and affected Airs, 
Baits him with Frowns, now lures him on with Smiles, 
And in Disport employs her practised Wiles ; 
The Boy at last, betray'd by borrowed Charms, 
A Victim falls in her enslaving Arms. 

If you'd preserve a numerous finny Race, 
Let your fierce Dogs the Ravenous Otter chase ; 
Th' amphibious Creature ranges all the Shores, 
Shoots through the Waves, and ev'ry Haunt explores : 



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I02 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Or let the Gin his roving Steps betray, 
And save from hostile Jaws the scaly Prey. 

As in successive Toil the Seasons roll, 
So various Pleasures recreate the Soul ; 
The setting Dog, instructed to betray. 
Rewards the Fowler with the Feather'd Prey. 
Soon as the laboring Horse with swelling Veins, 
Hath safely housM the Farmer's doubtful Gains, 
To sweet Repast th* unwary Partridge flies. 
At Ease amidst the scattered Harvest lies, 
Wandring in Plenty, Danger he forgets. 
Nor dreads the Slav'ry of entangling Nets. 
The subtle Dog now with sagacious Nose 
Scowres through the Field, and snuffs each Breeze that blows, 
Against the Wind he takes his prudent way, 
While the strong Gale directs him to, the Prey ; 
Now the warm Scent assures the Covey near, 
He treads with Caution, and he points with Fear ; 
Then least some Sentry Fowl his Fraud descry, 
And bid his Fellows from the Danger fly, 
Close to the Ground in Expectation lies. 
Till in the Snare the fluttVing Covey rise. 
Thus the sly Sharper sets the thoughtless 'Squire, 
Who to the Town does aukwardly aspire : 
Trick'd of his Gold, he Mortgages his Land, 
And falls a Captive to the Bailiffs Hand. 
Soon as the blushing Light begins to spread. 
And rising Phcsbus gilds the Mountain's Head, 
His early Flight th' ill-fated Partridge takes, 
And quits the friendly Shelter of the Brakes : 
Or when the Sun casts a declining Ray, 
And drives his Chariot down the Western way. 
Let your obsequious Ranger search around. 
Where the dry Stubble withers on the Ground : 
Nor will the roving Spy direct in vain. 
But num'rous Coveys gratifie thy Pain. 
When the Meridian Sun contracts the Shade, 
And frisking Heifers seek the cooling Glade ; 
Or when the Country floats with sudden Rains, 
Or driving Mists deface the moist'ned Plains ; 
In vain his Toils th' unskillful Fowler tries. 
Whilst in thick W^oods the feeding Partridge lies. 

Nor must the sporting Verse the Gun forbear. 
But what's the Fowler's be the Muse's Care ; 
The Birds that in the Thicket seek their Food, 
Who love the Covert, and frequent the Wood, 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 

Despise the Net : But still can never shun 
The momentary Lightning of the Gun. 
The SpanieU ranges all the Forrest round, 
And with discerning Nostril snuffs the Ground ; 
Now rushing on, with barking Noise alarms, 



103 




And bids his watchful Lord prepare to Arms ; 
The dreadful Sound the springing Pheasant hears, 
Leaves his close Haunt, and to some Tree repairs : 
The Dog, aloft the painted Fowl, surveys, 
Observes his Motions, and at distance Bays. 



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I04 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

His noisie Foe the stooping Pheasant eyes, 
Fear binds his Feet, and useless Pinions ties, 
Till the sure Fowler, with a sudden Aim, 
From the tall Bough precipitates the Game. 
So the pale Coward from the Battel flies, 
Soon as a Rout the Victor Army cries ; 
With clashing Weapons Fancy fills his Ear, 
And Bullets whistle round his bristled Hair ; 




Now from all Sides th' imagin'd Foe draws nigh, 
He trembling stands, nor knows which Way to fly ; 
'Till Fate behind aims a disgraceful Wound, 
And throws his gasping Carcass to the Ground 
But if the Bird, to shun the dreadful Snare, 
With quivering Pinions cuts the liquid Air ; 
The scattering Lead pursues th' unerring Sight, 
And Death in Thunder overtakes his Flight. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 105 

The tow'ring Hawk let future Poets sing, 
Who Terror bears upon his soaring Wing : 
Let him on high the frighted Hern survey, 
And lofty Numbers paint their Airy Fray. 
Nor shall the mountmg Lark the Muse detain, 
That greets the Morning with his early Strain ; 
How, 'midst his Song, by the false Glass betray' d, 
(That fatal Snare to the fantastick Maid,) 
Pride lures the little Warbler from the Skies, 
Where folding Nets the Captive Bird surprize. 

The Greyhound now pursues the tim'rous Hare, 
And shoots along the Plain with swift Career ; 
While the sly Game escapes beneath his Paws, 
He snaps deceitful Air with empty Jaws ; 
Enrag'd, upon his Foe he quickly gains. 
And with wide Stretches measures o'er the Plains ; 
Again the cunning Creature winds around, 
While the fleet Dog o'ershoots, and loses Ground ; 
Now Speed he doubles to regain the Way, 
And crushes in his Jaws the screaming Prey. 
Thus does the Country various Sports afford. 
And unbought Dainties heap the wholesome Board. 

But still the Chase, a pleasing Task, remains ; 
The Hound must open in these rural Strains. 
Soon as Aurora drives away the Night, 
And edges Eastern Clouds with rosie Light, 
The wakeful Huntsman, with the chearful Horn, 
Summons the Dogs, and greets the rising Mom : 
Th' enliven'd Hounds the welcome Accent hear. 
Start from their Sleep, and for the Chase prepare. 
Now o'er the Field a diffrent Route they take. 
Search ev'ry Bush, and force the thorny Brake ; 
No bounding Hedge obstructs their eager Way, 
While their sure Nostril leads them to the Prey ; 
Now they with Joy th' encreasing Scent pursue, 
And trace the Game along the tainted Dew ; 
A sudden Clamour rings throughout the Plain, 
And calls the Straglers from their fruitless Pain, 
All swiftly to the welcome Sound repair. 
And join their Force against the skulking Hare. 
Thus when the Drum an idle Camp alarms, 
And summons all the scatt'ring Troops to Arms ; 
The Soldiers the commanding Thunder know, 
And in one Body meet th' approaching Foe. 
The tuneful Noise the sprightly Courser hears, 
He paws the Turf, and pricks his rising Ears : 
The listening Hare, unsafe in longer Stay, 



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io6 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

With wary Caution steals unseen away ; 

But soon his treacherous Feet his Flight betray. 

The distant Mountains eccho from afar, 

And neighboring Woods resound the flying War ; 

The slackned Rein admits the Horse's Speed, 

And the swift Ground flies back beneath the Steed. 

Now at a Fault the Dogs confusedly stray, 

And strive t* unravel his perplexing Way ; 

They trace his artful Doubles o'er and o'er, 

Smell ev^ry Shrub, and all the Plain explore, 

'Till some stanch Hound summons the baffled Crew, 

And strikes away his wily Steps anew. 

Along the Fields they scow'r with jocund Voice, 

The frighted Hare starts at the distant Noise ; 

New Stratagems and various Shifts he tries. 

Oft' he looks back, and dreads a close Surprise ; 

Th' advancing Dogs still haunt his list'ning Ear, 

And every Breeze augments his growing Fear : 

'Till tired at last, he pants, and heaves for Breath ; 

Then lays him down, and waits approaching Death. 

Nor should the Fox shun the pursuing Hound, 

Nor the tall Stag with branchmg Antlers crown'd ; 

But each revolving Sport the Year employ, 

And fortifie the Mind with healthful Joy. 

Rural Sports. A poem subscribed to Mr. Pope by Mr. Gay, 1713. 

The Hound and the Huntsman 

Impertinence at first is bom 
With heedless slight, or smiles of scorn ; 
Teaz'd into wrath, what patience bears 
The noisy fool who perseveres ! 

The morning wakes, the huntsman sounds, 
At once rush forth the joyful hounds. 
They seek the wood with eager pace, 
Through bush, through brier explore the chase. 
Now scatter'd wide, they try the plain. 
And snuff the dewy turf in vain. 
What care, what industry, what pains ! 
What universal silence reigns ! 

Ringwood, a dog of little fame, 
Young, pert, and ignorant of game. 
At once displays his babbling throat ; 
The pack, regardless of the note. 
Pursue the scent ; with louder strain 
He still persists to vex the train. . 

The Huntsman to the clamour flies ; 
The smacking lash he smartly plies. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 107 

His ribs are welk'd, with howling tone 
The Puppy thus expressed his moan. 

I know the musick of my tongue 
Long since the Pack with envy stung ; 
What will not spite ? These bitter smarts 
I owe to my superior parts. 

When puppies prate, the Huntsman cr/d, 
They show both ignorance and pride : 
Fools may our scorn, not envy raise, 
For envy is a kind of praise. 
Had not thy forward noisy tongue, 
Proclaimed thee always in the wrong, 
Thou might'st have mingled with the rest, 
And ne'er thy foolish nose confest. 
But fools, to talking ever prone, 
Are sure to make their follies known. 

The Works of Mr. John Gay, 1727. 



From ' The Spleen * 



Hunting I reckon very good 
To brace the nerves, and stir the blood ; 
But after no field-honours itch 
Atchiev'd by leaping hedge and ditch. 
While spleen lies soft relaxed in bed. 
Or o*er coal-fires inclines the head, 
Hygea's sons with hound and horn, 
And jovial cry awake the morn : 
These see her from her dusky plight. 
Smeared by th' embraces of the night. 
With roral ^ wash redeem her face. 
And prove herself of Titan's race, 
And mounting in loose robes the skies. 
Shed light and fragrance, as she flies 
Then horse and hound fierce joy display, 
Exulting at the Hark-away, 
And in pursuit o'er tainted ground 
From lungs robust field-notes resound. 
Then as St. George the dragon slew. 
Spleen pierc'd, trod down, and dying view. 
While all the spirits are on wing, 
And woods, and hills, and valleys ring. 

To cure the mind's wrong bias, spleen. 
Some recommend the bowling-green ; 
Some, hilly walks ; all, exercise ; 
Fling but a stone, the giant dies : 

The Spleen, Matthew Green, 1737. 



* dewy. 

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IO& THE POETRY OF SPORT 



From 'The Seasons' 



Spring 

Now when the first foul Torrent of the Brooks, 
Swell'd by the vernal Rains, is ebb'd away ; 
And, whitening, down their mossy-tinctur'd Stream 
Descends the billowy Foam : now is the Time, 
While yet the dark-brown Water aids the Guile, 
To tempt the Trout. The well-dissembled Fly, 
The Rod fine-tapering with elastic Spring, 
Snatch'd from the hoary Steed the floating Line, 
And all thy slender watry Stores prepare. 
But let not on thy Hook the tortured Worm, 
Convulsive, twist in agonising Folds ; 
Which by rapacious Hunger swallow'd deep. 
Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding Breast 
Of the weak helpless uncomplaining Wretch, 
Harsh Pain and Horror to the tender Hand. 

When, with his lively Ray, the potent Sun 
Has pierc'd the Streams, and rous'd the finny Race, 
Then, issuing chearful, to the Sport repair ; 
Chief should the Western Breezes curling play. 
And light o'er Ether bear the shadowy Clouds. 
High to their Fount, this Day, amid the Hills, 
And Woodlands warbling round, trace up the Brooks 
The Next, pursue their rocky-channel'd Maze, 
Down to the River, in whose ample Wave 
Their little Naiads love to sport at large. 
Just in the dubious Point, where with the Pool 
Is mix'd the trembling Stream, or where it boils 
Around the Stone, or from the hollowed Bank, 
Reverted, plays in undulating Flow, 
There throw, nice-judging, the delusive Fly ; 
And, as you lead it round the artful Curve, 
With Eye attentive mark the springing Game. 
Strait as above the Surface of the Flood 
They wanton rise, or urg'd by Hunger leap, 
Then fix, with gentle Twitch, the barbed Hook ; 
Some lightly tossing to the grassy Bank, 
And to the shelving Shore slow-dragging some, 
With various hand proportion'd to their Force. 
If yet too young, and easily deceived, 
A worthless Prey scarce bends your pliant Rod, 
Him, piteous of his Youth, and the short Space 
He has enjoy'd the vital Light of Heaven, 
Soft disengage, and back into the Stream 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 109 

The speckled Infant throw. But should you lure 
From his dark Haunt, beneath the tangled Roots 
Of pendant Trees, the Monarch of the Brook, 
Behoves you then to ply your finest Art. 
Long time he, following cautious, scans the Fly ; 
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft 
The dimpled Water speaks his jealous Fear. 
At last, while haply o'er the shaded Sun 
Passes a Cloud, he desperate takes the Death, 
With sudden Plunge. At once he darts along, 
Deep-struck, and runs out all the lengthen'd Line ; 
Then seeks the farthest Ooze, the sheltering Weed, 
The cavem'd Bank, his old secure Abode ; 
And flies aloft, and flounces round the Pool, 
Indignant of the Guile. With yielding Hand, 
That feels him still, yet to his furious Course 
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now 
Across the Stream, exhaust his idle Kage ; 
Till floating broad upon his breathless Side, 
And to his Fate abandoned, to the Shore 
You gayly drag your unresisting Prize. 

Autumn 

Here the rude clamour of the sportsman's joy. 
The gun thick-thundering, and the winded horn, 
Would tempt the muse to sing the rural game. 
How, in his mid-career, the spaniel struck. 
Stiff, by the tainted gale, with open nose, 
Out-stretch'd, and finely sensible, draws full. 
Fearful, and cautious, on the latent prey ; 
As in the sun the circling covey bask 
Their varied plumes, watchful, and every way 
Thro' the rough stubble tum'd the secret eye. 
Caught in the ineshy snare, in vain they beat 
Their useless wings, intangled more and more : 
Nor on the surges of the boundless air, 
Tho' bom triumphant, are they safe ; the gun, 
Glanc'd just, and sudden, from the fowler's eye, 
O'ertakes their sounding pinions ; and again. 
Immediate, brings them from the towering wing, 
Dead to the ground ; or drives them else disperst, 
Wounded, and wheeling various, down the wind. 

Poor is the triumph o'er the timid Hare ! 
Shook from the com, and now to some lone seat 
Retir'd : the rushy fen ; the ragged furz, 
Stretch'd o'er the stony heath ; the stubble chapt ; 
The thistly lawn ; the thick, intangled broom ; 



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no THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Of the same friendly hue, the withered fern ; 
The fallow ground laid open to the sun, 
Concoctive ; and the nodding sandy bank, 
Hung o'er the mazes of the mountam-brook. 
Vain is her best precaution ; tho' she sits 
ConceaFd, with folded ears, unsleeping eyes, 
By Nature rais'd to take th' horizon in ; 
And head couch'd close betwixt her hairy feet, 




In act to spring away. The scented dew 
Betrays her early labyrinth ; and deep, 
In scattered, sullen openings, far behind. 
With every breeze she hears the coming storm. 
But nearer, and more frequent, as it loads 
The sighing gale, she spnngs amaz'd, and all 
The savage soul of game is up at once : 
The pack full-opening, various ; the shrill horn, 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 



III 



Resounded from the hills ; the neighing steed, 
Wild for the chace ; and the loud hunter's shout ; 
0*er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all 
Mix'd in mad tumult, and discordant joy. 

The Stag, too, singled from the herd, where long 
He reign'd the branching monarch of the shades, 
Before the tempest drives. At first, in speed 
He, sprightly, puts his faith ; and, fear-arrous*d, 
Gives all his swift, aereal soul to flight 
Against the breeze he darts, that way the more 
To leave the lessening, murderous cry behind. 
Deception short ! tho' fleeter than the winds 
Blown o'er the keen-air'd mountain by the north. 




He bursts the thickets, glances thro' the glades, 
And plunges deep into the wildest wood. 
If slow, yet sure, adhesive to the tract 
Hot-steaming, up behind him comes again 
Th' inhuman rout, and from the shady depth 
Expel him, circling thro' his every shift 
He sweeps the forest oft ; and sobbing sees 
The glades, mild-openings to the golden day ; 
Where, in kind contest, with his butting friends 
He went to struggle, or his loves enjoy. 
Oft in the full-descending flood he tries 
To lose the scent, and lave his burning sides : 
Oft seeks the herd ; the watchful herd, alarm'd 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 



With quick consent, avoid th' infectious maze. 

What shall he do ? His once so vivid nerves, 

So full of buoyant soul, inspire no more 

The fainting course ; but wrenching, breathless toil 

Sick, seizes on his heart : he stands at bay ; 

And puts his last, weak refuge in despair. 

The big round tears run down his dappled face ; 

He groans in anguish ; while the growling pack, 

Blood-happy, hang at his fair, jutting chest, 

And mark his beauteous checquer'd sides with gore. 

These Britain knows not ; give ye Britons, then 
Your sportive fury, pityless, to pour 




Loose on the sly destroyer of the flock. 

Him, froni his craggy winding haunts unearth'd. 

Let all the thunder of the chase pursue. 

Throw the broad ditch behind you ; o'er the hedge 

High-bound, resistless ; nor the deep morass 

Refuse, but thro' the shaking wilderness 

Pick your nice way ; into the perilous flood 

Bear fearless, of the raging instinct full ; 

And as you ride the torrent to the banks 

Your triumph sound sonorous, running round, 

From rock to rock, in circling echo tost ; 

Then snatch the mountains by their woody tops ; 

Rush down the dangerous steep ; and o'er the lawn, 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 113 

In fancy swallowing up the space between, 
Pour all your speed into the rapid game. 
For happy he I who tops the wheeling chace ; 
Has every maze evolv'd, and every guile 
Disclos'd ; who knows the merits of the pack ; 
Who saw the villain seizM, and dying hard, 
Without complaint, tho' by an hundred mouths 
At once tore, mercyless. Thrice happy he ! 
At hour of dusk, while the retreating horn 
Calls them to ghostly halls of grey renown, 
With woodland honours grac'd : the fox's fur, 
Depending decent from the roof ; and spread 
Round the drear walls, with antick figures fierce. 
The stag's large front : he then is loudest heard, 
When the night staggers with severer toils. 
And their repeated wonders shake the dome. 

The Seasons. James TnoMsos. 1730. 

The Goff 

CANTO I 

Goff, and the Man^ I sing, who, em'lous, plies 

The jointed club ; whose balls invade the skies ; 
Who from Edinds tow'rs, his peaceful home. 
In quest of fame o'er Lethal s plains did roam. 
Long toil'd the hero, on the verdant field, 
Stj;p.in'd his stout arm the weighty club to wield. 

CANTO II 

Now at that hole the Chiefs begin the game, 
Which from the neighb'ring thorn-tree takes its name ; 
Ardent they grasp the ball-compelling clubs, 
And stretch their arms t' attack the little globes. 

Then great Castalio his whole force collects 
And on the orb a noble blow directs. 
Swift as a thought the ball obedient flies, 
Sings high in air, and seems to cleave the skies ; 
Then on the level plain its fury spends ; 
And Irus to the Chief the welcome tidings sends. 
Next in his turn Pygmalion strikes the globe : 
On th' up[>er half descends the erring club ; 
Along the green the ball confounded scours ; 
No lofty flight the ill-sped stroke impow'rs. 

Thus, when the trembling hare descries the hounds, 
She from her whinny mansion swiftly bounds ; 
O'er hills and fields she scours, outstrips the wind ; 
The hound and huntsmen follow f.ir behind. 



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114 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

CANTO III 

Mean while the Chiefs for the last hole contend, 
The last great hole, which should their labours end. 
For this the Chiefs exert their skill and might, 
To drive the balls, and to direct their flight. 
Thus two fleet coursers for the Royal plate, 
TThe others distanc'd,) run the final heat ; 
With all his might each gen'rous racer flies, 
And all his art each panting rider tries. 
While showers of gold and praises warm his breast, 
And gen'rous emulation fires the beast. 

A mighty blow Pygmalion then lets fall ; 
Straight from th' impulsive engine starts the ball 
Answering its master's just design, it hastes. 
And from the hole scarce twice two clubs length rests. 

Ah ! what avails thy skill, since Fate decrees 
Thy conqu'ring foe to bear away the prize .'* 

Full fifteen clubs length from the hole he lay, 
A wide cart-road before him cross'd his way ; 
The deep-cut tracks th' intrepid Chief defies, 
High o'er the road the ball triumphing flies, 
Lights on the green, and scours into the hole : 
Down with it sinks depress'd Pygmalion's soul. 
Seiz'd with surprize th' affrighted hero stands, 
And feebly tips the ball with trembling hands ; 
The creeping ball its want of force complains, 
A grassy tuft the loit'ring orb detains : 
Surrounding crowds the victor's praise proclaim, 
The ecchoing shore resounds Castalids name. 

The Goff. An Heroi-Comical Poem in 3 Cantos, 1743. 

From * The Fox-Chase ' 

Young Marcus with the lark salutes the morn 

* Saddle your horses ; huntsman, wind your horn.' 
We start, we rise at the enlivening sound — 

The woods all ring — and wind the horn around : 
We snatch a short repast within the hall ; 

* To horse I To horse ! ' — We issue at the call. 



Trueman, whom for sagacious nose we hail 
The Chief, first touch'd the scarce-distinguish'd gale ; 
His tongue was doubtful, and no hound replies : 
* Haux I — Wind him I — Haux I ' — the tuneful huntsman cries. 
At once the list'ning pack asunder spread, 
With tail erect, and with inquiring head : 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 115 

With busy nostrils they foretaste their prey, 
And snuff the lawn-impearling dews away. 

The huntsman calls, and chears his circling hounds. 
Now up, now^ down, now 'cross the stream he beats — 
* Haux I — wind him I — haux I— Fox, find him I ' he repeats, 
Now round and round a fruitless search he plies, 
And now a tour of wider circuit tries. 
But no intelligence rewiards his care ; 
No note confess'd the fox was ever there — 
As though some opening gulph has gorged our prey, 
Or sudden power had snatched him quite away. 
But Reynard, hotly push'd, and close pursu'd. 




Yet fruitful in expedients to elude. 

When to the bourn's refreshing bank he came. 

Had plung'd, all reeking, in the friendly stream. 

The folding waves his failing pow'rs restore. 

And close the gates of ever>' fuming pore. 

Then down the channel, over flats and steeps. 

He steals, and trots — or wades, or swims, or creeps : 

Till, where the pebbled shores the surges break, 

He quits his feet, and launches on the lake. 

With half a pack, and scarcely half a train, 
We dare all dangers, and all toil disdain ; 
The dogs near faint, yet still on slaughter bent, 
With tongues abrupt avow the burning scent ; 



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ii6 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The pendant cliffs audaciously essay, 
And trot, or crawl, or climb their desperate way. 
While, slanting, we avoid the headlong deep. 
Yet bend, press on, and labour up the steep. 

Where the brow beetling from the mountain sprung 
With stunted thorn and shaggy rocks o'erhung, 
Beneath whose base a sanded bench, with shade 
Of furze and tangling thicket was o'erlaid, 
Reynard his palace kept, his regal seat, 
His fort of sure resource and last retreat ; 
The rest were but the mansions of a night, 
For casual respite, or for fresh delight. 



To this dread fort, with many a hard essay. 
We win with peril our o'er-labour*d way ; 
At length our journey, not our work is done, 
The way indeed, but not the fort is won. 
Here had the felon earth'd ; — with many a hound 
And many a horse we gird his hold around : 
The hounds 'fore heaven their accusation spread, 
And cry for justice on his caitiff head. 

Meanwhile, with cutlasses, we clear each bush 
Of platted black-thorn, and of stubborn brush. 
Remove the covert of befriending right, 
And on the cavern's entrance pour the light. — 
Aghast, and trembling in the burst of day, 
With haggard eyes the shrinking savage lay ; 
In vain he glares his desperate glance around, 
No scape— no stratagem — no hope is found I 
He dies I — he dies I the echoing hills reply. 
And the loud triumph rends the vaulted sky. 

The Poetical Works of Henry Brooke, 1792. 

From ' The Art of Preserving Health ' 

. . . The chearful mom 
Beams o'er the hills ; go, mount th' exulting steed, 
Already, see, the deep-mouth'd beagles catch 
The tainted mazes ; and, on eager sport 
Intent, with emulous impatience try 
Each doubtful track. Or, if a nobler prey 
Delight you more, go chase the desperate deer ; 
And thro' its deepest solitudes awake 
The vocal forest with the jovial horn. 

But if the breathless chase o'er hill and dale 
Exceed your strength ; a sport of less fatigue. 
Not less delightful, the prolific stream 
Affords. The chrystal rivulet, that o'er 



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'Or viewed afoot at midnight Ball." 

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A stony channel rolls its rapid maze, 

Swarms with the silver fry. Such, thro' the bounds 

Of pastoral Stafford, runs the brawling Trent ; 

Such Eden, sprung from Cumbrian mountains ; such 

The Esk, o'erhung with woods ; and such the stream 

On whose Arcadian banks I first drew air, 

Liddal ; till now, except in Doric lays 

Tun'd to her murmurs by her love-sick swains. 

Unknown in song : Tho' not a purer stream, 

Thro' meads more flow'ry, or more romantic groves. 

Rolls toward the western main. Hail sacred flood I 

May still thy hospitable swains be blest 

In rural innocence ; thy mountains still 

Teem with the fleecy race ; thy tuneful woods 

For ever flourish ; and thy vales look gay 

With painted meadows, and the golden grain ! 

Oft, with thy blooming sons, when life was new, 

Sportive and petulant, and charm'd with toys. 

In thy transparent eddies have I lav'd : 

Oft trac'd with patient steps thy fairy banks, 

With the well-imitated fly to hook 

The eager trout, and with the slender line 

And yielding rod sollicite to the shore 

The strugglmg panting prey ; while vernal clouds 

And tepid gales obscur'd the ruffled pool, 

And from the deeps call'd forth the wanton swarms. 

. . . Some love the manly foils ; 
The tennis some ; and some the graceful dance. 
Others, more hardy, range the purple heath, 
Or naked stubble ; where from field to field 
The sounding coveys urge their labouring flight ; 
Eager amid the rising cloud to pour 
The gun's unerring thunder : And there are 
Whom still the meed of the green archer charms. 
He chuses best, whose labour entertains 
His vacant fancy most : The toil you hate 
Fatigues you soon, and scarce improves your limbs. 

Art of Preserving Health. John Armstrong, 1744. 

Translation 

LINES WRITTEN UNDER A FRENCH PRINT REPRESENTING 
PERSONS SKATING 

O'er crackling ice, o'er gulphs profound, 
With nimble glide the skaiters play ; 

O'er treacherous pleasure's flow'ry ground 
Thus lightly skim, and haste away. 

Poems. S. Johnson, 1789. 



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I 1(8 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



A fragment of a Poem on Hunting 
by Thomas Tickell 

' Dona cano divdm, Intrtas venantibus artes, 
Auspicio, Diana, tuo ' Gratius. 

Horses and hounds, their care, their various race, 

The numerous beasts, that range the rural chace, 

The huntsman's chosen scenes, his friendly stars, 

The laws and glory of the sylvan wars, 

I first in British verse presume to raise ; 

A venturous rival of the Roman praise. 

Let me, chaste Queen of Woods, thy aid obtain. 

Bring here thy light-foot nymphs, and sprightly train : 

If oft, o'er lawns, thy care prevents the day 

To rouse the foe, and press the bounding prey, 

Woo thine own Phctbus in the task to join. 

And grant me genius for the bold design. 

In this soft shade, O sooth the warrior's fire, 

And fit his bow-string to the trembling lyre ; 

And teach, while thus their arts and arms we sing, 

The groves to echo, and the vales to ring. 

Thy care be first the various gifts to trace, 
The minds and genius of the latrant ' race. 
In powers distinct the different clans excel, 
In sight, or swiftness, or sagacious smell ; 
By wiles ungenerous some surprize the prey. 
And some by courage win the doubtful day. 
Secst thou the gaze-hound ! how with glance severe 
From the close herd he marks the destin'd deer I 
How every nerve the greyhound's stretch displays, 
The hare preventing in her airy maze ; 
The luckless prey how treacherous tumblers gain. 
And dauntless wolf-dogs shake the lion's mane ; 
O'er all, the blood- hound boasts superior skill, 
To scent, to view, to turn, and boldly kill ! 
His fellows' vain alarms rejects with scorn. 
True to the masters voice, and learned horn. 
His nostrils oft, if ancient fame sing true, 
Trace the sly felon through the tainted dew ; 
Once snuff'd, he follows with unaltcr'd aim. 
Nor odours lure him from the chosen game ; 
Deep-mouth'd he thunders, and inflam'd he views. 
Springs on relentless, and to death pursues. 

' barking. 

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Some hounds of manners vile (nor less we find 
Of fops in hounds, than in the reasoning kind) 
Puff d with conceit run gladding o'er the plain 
And from the scent divert the wiser train ; 
For the foe's footsteps fondly snuff their own, 
And mar the music with their senseless tone ; 
Start at the starting prey, or rustling wind, 
And, hot at first, inglorious lag behind. 
A sauntering tribe ! may such my foes disgrace ! 
Give me, ye gods, to breed the nobler race. 
Nor grieve thou to attend, while truths unknown 
I sing, and make Athenian arts our own. 



119 




Dost thou in hounds aspire to deathless fame .-* 
Learn well their lineage and their ancient stem. 
Each tribe with joy old rustic heralds trace, 
And sing the chosen worthies of their race ; 
How his sire's features in the son were sp/d. 
When Die was made the vigorous Ringwood's bride. 
Less sure thick lips the fate of Austria doom. 
Or eagle noses rul'd almighty Rome. 

Good shape to various kinds old bards confine, 
Some praise the Greek, and some the Roman line ; 
And dogs to beauty make as differing claims, 
As Albion's nymphs, and India's jetty dames. 



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Immense to name their lands, to mark their bounds, 
And paint the thousand families of hounds : 
First count the sands, the drops where oceans flow, 
Or Gauls by Marlborough sent to shades below. 
The task be mine, to teach Britannia's swains, 
My much-lov'd country, and my native plains. 

Such be the dog, I charge, thou mean'st to train, 
His back is crooked, and his belly plain. 
Of fillet stretch'd, and huge of haunch behind, 
A tapering tail, that nimbly cuts the wind ; 
Truss-thigh'd, straight-ham'd, and fox-like form'd his paw, 
Large-leg'd, dry-sol'd, and of protended claw. 
His flat, wide nostrils snuff the savory steam. 
And from his eyes he shoots pernicious gleam ; 
Middling his head, and prone to earth his view, 
With ears and chest that dash the morning dew : 
He best to stem the flood, to leap the bound. 
And charm the Uryads with his voice profound ; 
To pay large tribute to his weary lord. 
And crown the sylvan hero's plenteous board. . . . 

Works of English Poets . . . by Samuel yohn sou, 1779. 



From 'The History of Manchester' 

But can you waft across the British tide, 
And land undangered on the farther side, 
O what great gains will certainly redound 
From a free traffick in the British hound ! 
Mind not the badness of their forms or face : 
That the sole blemish of the generous race. 
When the bold game turns back upon the spear, 
And all the ^^uries wait upon the war. 
First in the fight the whelps of Britain shine. 
And snatch, Epirus, all the palm from thine. 

(Gkatu's Faliscus). 
Would you chace the deer. 
Or urge the motions of the smaller hare. 
Let the brisk greyhound of the Celtic name 
Bound o'er the glebe and shew his painted frame. 
Swift as the wing that sails adown the wind, 
Swift as the wish that darts along the mind. 
The Celtic greyhound sweeps the level lea. 
Eyes as he strains, and stops the flying prey. 
But should the game elude his watchful eyes. 
No nose sagacious tells him where it lies. 

(GRATirs Kaliscus). 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 121 

A small bold breed and steady to the game 
Next claims the tribute of peculiar fame ! 
Train'd by the tribes on Britain's wildest shore, 
Thence they their title of Agasses bore. 
Small as the race that useless to their lord 
Bask on the hearth and beg about the board, 
Crook-limbed and black-eyed, all their frame appears 
Flanked with no flesh and bristled rough with hairs ; 
But shod each foot with hardest claws is seen, 
The sole's kind armour on the beaten green ; 
But fenced each jaw with closest teeth is found. 
And death sits instant on th' inflicted wound. 
Far o'er the rest he quests the secret prey, 
And sees each track wind opening to his ray : 
Far o'er the rest he feels each scent that blows 
Court the live nerve and thrill along the nose. 

(Oppian). 
The History of Xfanchester. John Whitakkr, 1771. 



From ' Farringdon Hill ' 



First to the north direct your roving eyes, 
Where fair Oxonicis verdant hills arise. 
There BurfortPs downs invite the healthful chace, 
Or urge the emulous courser to the race, 
While as with agile limbs the ascent they scale, 
Rush down the steep, or sweep across the vale. 
Exulting hope, by turns, and chilling fear. 
In the pale cheek, and eager eye appear, 
Each generous fire in every heart is lost, 
By fortune favoured, or by fortune cross'd ; 
Flies every virtue, withers every grace, 
And all the selfish passions take their place ; 
Blest plains I which all the good to Oxford yield. 
That Granta reaps from fam'd Newmarkefs field. 

Soon shall the yellow wealth whose swelling grains 
The stalk low bending hardly now sustains, 
Stored in the bam with jocund labor, yield 
To every rural sport the uncumber'd field. 
The pointer then shall o'er the stubbled vale 
Range unconfined, and catch the tainted gale : 
The hound's quick scent, or greyhound's eager view 
O'er the smooth plain the timid hare pursue ; 
Then swelling on the burthen'd breeze afar, 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Shall burst the tumult of the woodland war ; 
While rush the daring youth with breathless speed 
To see the wily fox unpityed bleed. 
Let not the Muse the jocund labor chide, 
Or from the chace her eyes indignant hide : 
Though gentle Shenstone thought the hunter's throat 
Drown'd with its clamorous strain, the lyric note : 
Though pensive Thomson indolently laid 
Beneath the silver willows trembling shade, 
Baiting with cruel art the treacherous hook, 
To lure the guileless inmates of the brook : 
Blame, as his hands the barbed weapon draw 
From the mute wretches agonizing jaw, 
Those who in manly sport with frantic joy, 




The rapid tenants of the wood destroy : 
Yet has the warbling lyre in many a strain 
Described the active pleasures of the plain ; 
The moral bard of Windsor's royal groves, 
Sings of the hunter and his toil approves ; 
Even he whose verse to mortal eyes has given 
The wrath of angels, and the wars of heaven ; 
Joyful has listen'd to the hounds, and horn. 
Rousing with chearful peal the slumbering' morn : 
Nor shall with brow averse the rural Muse 
To Somerville the Poet's meed refuse. 
Whose skilful notes each sylvan pastime trace. 
And teach the various mazes of the chace ; 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 123 

Whence livelier thoughts, and lighter spirits rise, 
Strength knits the limbs and health adorns the eyes, 
Glows in the ruddy cheek a purer blood, 
And rolls the tide of life a sprightlier flood. 

Farringdon Hill. A Poem. H. J. PvE, 1774. 



The Lady of the Lake 

canto first 
The Chase 

I 

The Stag at eve had drunk his fill. 

Where danced the moon on Monan's rill. 

And deep his midnight lair had made 

In lone (jlenartney's hazel shade ; 

But, when the sun his beacon red 

Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head. 

The deep-mouthed blood-hound's heavy bay 

Resounded up the rocky way, 

And faint, from farther distance borne, 

Were heard the clanging hoof and horn. 



As chief who hears his warder call, 

' To arms I the foemen storm the wall,' — 

The antler'd monarch of the waste 

Sprung from his heathery couch in haste. 

Rut, e'er his fleet career he took, 

The dew-drops from his flanks he shook ; 

Like crested leader proud and high. 

Tossed his beamed frontlet to the sky ; 

A moment gazed adown the dale, 

A moment snuffed the tainted gale, 

A moment listened to the cry, 

That thickened as the chase drew nigh ; 

Then, as the headmost foes appeared. 

With one brave bound the copse he cleared, 

And, stretching forward free and far. 

Sought the wild heaths of UamA'ar. 

Ill 

Yelled on the view the opening pack. 
Rock glen and cavern paid them back ; 
To many a mingled sound at once 
The awakened mountain gave response. 



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124 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

An hundred dogs bayed deep and strong, 
Clattered an hundred steeds along, 
Their peal the merry horns rung out, 
An hundred voices joined the shout ; 
With hark and whoop and wild halloo 
No rest Benvoirlich's echoes knew. 
Far from the tumult fled the roe, 
Close in her covert cowered the doe, 




The falcon, from her cairn on high, 
Cast on the rout a wondering eye. 
Till far beyond her piercing ken 
The hurricane had swept the glen. 
Faint, and more faint, its failing din 
Returned from cavern, cliff, and linn. 
And silence settled, wide and still. 
On the lone wood and mighty hill. 

IV 

Less loud the sounds of sylvan war 
Disturbed the heights of Uam-Var, 
And roused the cavern, where 'tis told 
A g^ant made his den of old ; 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 125 

For ere that steep ascent was won, 
High in his path-way hung the sun, 
And many a gallant, stayed per-force, 
Was fain to breathe his faultering horse ; 
And of the trackers of the deer 
Scarce half the lessening pack was near ; 
So shrewdly, on the mountain side, 
Had the bold burst their mettle tried. 



The noble Stag was pausing now, 
Upon the mountain's southern brow, 
Where broad extended, far beneath, 
The varied realms of fair Menteith. 
With anxious eye he wandered o'er 
Mountain and meadow, moss and moor. 
And pondered refuge from his toil, 
By far Lochard or Aberfoyle. 
But nearer was the copse-wood gray, 
That waved and wept on Loch-Achray, 
And mingled with the pine-trees blue 
On the bold cliffs of Ben- venue. 
Fresh vigour with the hope returned. 
With flying foot the heath he spurned, 
Held westward with unwearied race. 
And left behind the panting chase. 

VI 

'Twere long to tell what steeds gave o'er, 
As swept the hunt through Cambus-more ; 
What reins were tightened in despair, 
When rose Benledi's ridge in air ; 
Who flagged upon Bochastle's heath, 
Who shunned to stem the flooded Teith, — 
For twice, that day, from shore to shore. 
The gallant stag swam stoutly o'er. 
Few were the stragglers, following far. 
That reached the lake of Vennachar ; 
And when the Brigg of Turk was won. 
The headmost Horseman rode alone. 

VII 

Alone, but with unbated zeal. 
That horseman plied the scourge and steel ; 
For jaded now, and spent with toil. 
Embossed with foam, and dark with soil, 
While every gasp with sobs he drew. 
The labouring stag strained full in view. 



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126 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Two dogs of black Saint Hubert's breed, 

Unmatched for courage, breath, and speed, 

Fast on his flying traces came. 

And all but won that desperate game ; 

For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch, 

Vindictive toiled the blood-hounds staunch ; 

Nor nearer might the dogs attain, 

Nor farther might the quarry strain. 

Thus up the margin of the lake. 

Between the precipice and brake. 

O'er stock and rock their race they take. 

VIII 

The hunter marked that mountain high. 
The lone lake's western boundary. 
And deemed the stag must turn to bay, 
Where that huge rampart barred the way ; 
Already glorying in the prize. 
Measured his antlers with his eyes ; 
For the death- wound, and death-halloo. 
Mustered his breath, his whinyard drew ; 
But, thundering as he came prepared, 
With ready arm and weapon bared. 
The wily quarry shunned the shock, 
And turned him from the opposing rock ; 
Then, dashing down a darksome glen, 
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken, 
In the deep Trosach's wildest nook 
His solitary refuge took. 
There while, close couched, the thicket shed 
Cold dews and wild flowers on his head, 
He heard the baffled dogs in vain 
Rave through the hollow pass amain. 
Chiding the rocks that yelled again. 

IX 

Close on the hounds the hunter came, 
To cheer them on the vanished game ; 
But, stumbling in the rugged dell, 
The gallant horse exhausted fell. 
The impatient rider strove in vain 
To rouse him with the spur and rein, 
For the good steed, his labours o'er, 
Stretched his stiflf limbs, to rise no more ; 
Then, touched with pity and remorse. 
He sorrowed o'er the expiring horse. 
* I little thought, when first thy rein 
I slacked upon the banks of Seine ; 



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That highland eagle e'er should feed 
On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed ! 
Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day, 
That costs thy life, my gallant grey ! ' 



Then through the dell his horn resounds, 
From vain pursuit to call the hounds. 
Back limped, with slow and crippled pace, 
The sulky leaders of the chase ; 
Close to their master's side they pressed, 
With drooping tail and humbled crest ; 
But still the dingle's hollow throat 
Prolonged the swelling bugle-note. 
The owlets started from their dream, 
The eagles answered with their scream. 
Round and around the sounds were cast. 
Till echo seemed an answering blast ; 
And on the hunter hied his pace. 
To join some comrades of the chase ; 
Yet often paused, so strange the road, 
So wondrous were the scenes it show'd. 



CANTO FOURTH 
• XXV 

The Prophecy 

The toils are pitched, and the stakes are set, 

Ever sing merrily, merrily ; 
The bows they bend, and the knives they whet, 

Hunters live so cheerily. 

It was a stag, a stag of ten,^ 

Bearing his branches sturdily ; 
He came stately down the glen, 

Ever sing hardily, hardily. 

It was there he met with a wounded doe. 

She was bleeding deathfuUy ; 
She warned him of the toils below, 

O so faithfully, faithfully ! 

He had an eye, and he could heed. 

Ever sing warily, warily ; 
He had a foot, and he could speed . . . 

Hunters watch so narrowly. 

' Having ten branches on his antlers. 

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CANTO SIXTH 
XXIV 

Lay of thk imprisoned Huntsman 

My hawk is tired of perch and hood, 
My idle grey-hound loathes his food, 
My horse is weary of his stall. 
And I am sick of captive thrall. 
I wish I were as I have been, 
Hunting the hart in forests green, 
With bended bow and blood-hound free, 
For that's the life is meet for me. 

I hate to learn the ebb of time, 
From yon dull steeple's drowsy chime, 
Or mark it as the sun-beams crawl. 
Inch after inch, along the wall. 
The lark was wont my matins ring, 
The sable rook my vespers sing ; 
These towers, although a king's they be. 
Have not a hall of joy for me. 

No more at dawning morn 1 rise, 
And sun myself in Ellen's eyes, 
Drive the fleet deer the" forest through, 
And homeward wend with evening dew ; 
A blithesome welcome blithely meet, 
And lay my trophies at her feet. 
While fled the eve on wing of glee, . . . 
That life is lost to love and me ! 

The Lady of the Lake: a Poem. Walter Scott, i8io. 



From ' Marmion ' 

introduction to canto second 

. . . ' Here, in my shade,' methinks he'd say, 

' The mighty stag at noontide lay : 

The wolf I've seen, a fiercer game, 

(The neighbouring dingle bears his name,) 

With lurching step around me prowl, 

And stop against the moon to howl ; 

The mountain boar, on battle set. 

His tusks upon my stem would whet ; 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 129 

While doe and roe, and red-deer good, 

Have bounded by through gay green -wood. 

Then oft, from Newark's riven tower, 

Sallied a Scottish monarch's power : 

A thousand vassals mustered round, 

With horse, and hawk, and horn, and hound ; 

And I might see the youth intent. 

Guard every pass with cross-bow bent ; 

And through the brake the rangers stalk. 

And falc'ners hold the ready hawk ; 

And foresters, in green- wood trim, 

Lead in the leash the gaze-hounds grim, 

Attentive, as the bratchet's ^ bay 

From the dark covert drove the prey. 

To slip them as he broke away. 

The startled quarry bounds amain, 

As fast the gallant grey-hounds strain ; 

Whistles the arrow from the bow, 

Answers the harquebuss below ; 

While all the rocking hills reply, 

To hoof-clang, hound, and hunters' cry, 

And bugles ringing lightsomely.' 

INTRODUCTION TO CANTO FIFTH 

When dark December glooms the day, 
And takes our autumn joys away ; 
When short and scant the sun-beam throws, 
Upon the weary waste of snows, 
A cold and profitless regard, 
Like patron on a needy bard ; 
When sylvan occupation's done. 
And o'er the chimney rests the gun, 
And hang, in idle trophy, near. 
The game-pouch, fishing-rod, and spear ; 
When wiry terrier, rough and grim, 
And greyhound with his length of limb, 
And pointer, now employed no more, 
Cumber our parlour's narrow floor ; 
When in his stall the impatient steed 
Is long condemned to rest and feed ; 
When from our snow-encfrcled home, 
Scarce cares the hardiest step to roam, 
Since path is none, save that to bring 
The needful water from the spring ; 
When wrinkled news-page, thrice con'd o'er 
Beguiles the dreary hour no more, 
And darkling politician, crossed, 

1 Slow-hound. 



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I30 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Inveighs against the lingering post, 

And answering house-wife sore complains 

Of carriers' snow-impeded w^ains : 

When such the country cheer, I come. 

Well pleased, to seek our city home ; 

For converse, and for books, to change 

Th« Forest's melancholy range, 

And welcome, with renewed delight 

The busy day, and social night. 

Marmion: a Tale of Flodden Field. Waltkr Scott. 1808. 



From ' The Excursion ' 



... * A blessed lot is yours I ' 
He said, and with that exclamation breathed 
A tender sigh ; — but, suddenly the door 
Opening, with eager haste two lusty Boys 
Appeared — confusion checking their delight. 
— Not Brothers they in feature or attire, 
But fond Companions, so I guessed, in field, 
And by the river-side — from which they come, 
A pair of Anglers, laden with their spoil. 
One bears a willow-pannier on his back. 
The Boy of plainer garb, and more abashed 
In "countenance, — more distant and retired. 
Twin might the Other be to that fair Girl 
W^ho bounded tow'rds us from the garden mount. 
Triumphant entry this to him ! — for see. 
Between his hands he holds a smooth blue stone, 
On whose capacious surface is outspread 
Large store of gleaming crimson-spotted trouts ; 
Ranged side by side, in regular ascent, 
One after one, still lessening by degree 
Up to the dwarf that tops the pinnacle. 
Upon the Board he lays the sky-blue stone 
With its rich spoil ; — their number he proclaims ; 
Tells from what pool the noblest had been dragged ; 
And where the very monarch of the brook, 
After long struggle, had escaped at last - - 
Stealing alternately at them and us 
(As doth his Comrade too) a look of pride. 
And, verily, the silent Creatures made 
A splendid sight together thus exposed ; 
Dead — but not sullied or deformed by Death, 
That seemed to pity what he could not spare. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 131 

But oh I the animation in the mien 
Of those two Boys ! Yea in the very words 
With which the young Narrator was inspired, 
When, as our questions led, he told at large 
Of that day's prowess ! Him might I compare, 
His look, tones, gestures, eager eloquence, 
To a bold Brook which splits for better speed, 
And, at the self-same moment, works its way 
Through many channels, ever and anon 
Parted and reunited : his Compeer 
To the still Lake, whose stillness is to the eye 
As beautiful, as grateful to the mind. 

W. Wordsworth, 18 14. 



Skating 



And in the frosty season, when the sun 
Was set, and visible for many a mile 
The cottage windows blazed through twilight gloom, 
I heeded not their summons : happy time 
It was indeed for all of us — for me 
It was a time of rapture ! Clear and loud 
The village clock tolled six, — I wheeled about, 
Proud and exulting like an untired horse 
That cares not for his home. All shod with steel, 
We hissed along the polished ice in games 
Confederate, imitative of the chase 
And woodland pleasures,— the resounding horn, 
The pack loud chiming, and the hunted hare. 
So through the darkness and the cold we flew, 
And not a voice was idle ; with the din 
Smitten, the precipices rang aloud ; 
The leafless trees and every icy crag 
Tinkled like iron ; while far distant hills 
Into the tumult sent an alien sound 
Of melancholy not unnoticed, while the stars 
Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the west 
The orange sky of evening died away. 
Not seldom from the uproar I retired 
Into a silent bay, or sportively 
Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng. 
To cut across the reflex of a star 
That fled, and, flying still before me, gleamed 
Upon the glassy plain ; and oftentimes. 
When we had given our bodies to the vvin<^ 
And all the shadowy banks on either side 
Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still 
The rapid line of motion, then at once 

K 2 



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132 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Have I, reclining back upon my heels, 
Stopped short ; yet still the solitary cliffs 
Wheeled by me— even as if the earth had rolled 
With visible motion her diurnal round ! 

The Prelude. W. Wordsworth, 1850. 

From ' The Two Foscari ' 

ACT I. SCENE I. 

How many a time have I 
Cloven with arm still lustier, breast more daring, 
The wave all roughen'd ; with a swimmer's stroke 
Flinging the billows back from my drench'd hair, 
And laughing from my lip the audacious brine, 
Which kiss'd it like a wine-cup, rising o'er 
The waves as they arose, and prouder still 
The loftier they uplifted me ; and oft, 
In wantonness of spirit, plunging down 
Into their green and glassy gulfs, and making 
My way to shells and sea-weed, all unseen 
By those above, till they wax'd fearful ; then 
Returning with my grasp full of such tokens 
As show'd that I had searched the deep : exulting. 
With a far-dashing stroke, and drawing deep 
The long-suspended breath, again I spum'd 
The foam which broke around me, and pursued 
My track like a sea-bird. — I was a boy then. 

The Two Foscari : a Tragedy. Lord Byron, 1821. 

From ' Don Juan ' 

CANTO XIII 

The mellow Autumn came, and with it came 
The promised party, to enjoy its sweets. 

The com is cut, the manor full of game ; 
The pointer ranges, and the sportsman beats 

In russet jacket :— lynx-like is his aim. 

Full grows his bag, and wondei/«/ his feats. 

Ah nutbrown Partridges I Ah brilliant Pheasants ! 

And ah, ye Poachers 1 *Tis no sport for peasants. 

The gentlemen got up betimes to shoot, 

Or hunt : the young, because they liked the sport — 

The first thing boys like, after play and fruit : 
The middle-aged, to make the day more short ; 

For ennui is a growth of English root, 
Though nameless in our language :- -we retort 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 133 

The fact for words, and let the French translate 
That awful yawn which sleep can not abate. 

Then there were billiards ; cards too, but no dice ; — 
Save in the Clubs no man of honour plays ; — 

Boats when 'twas water, skaiting when 'twas ice, 
And the hard frost destroyed the scenting days : 

And angling too, that solitary vice, 
Whatever Isaac Walton sings or says : 

The quaint, old, cruel coxcomb, in his gullet 

Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it. 

Don Juan, Lord By RON, 1823. 

From ' The Deformed Transformed ' 

PART III. SCENE I. 

Chorus 

But the hound bayeth loudly, 

The Boar's in the wood. 
And the Falcon longs proudly 

To spring from her hood : 
On the wrist of the Noble 

She sits like a crest, 
And the air is in trouble 

With birds from their nest. 

C.«SAR 

Oh I Shadow of glory ! 

Dim image of war ! 
But the chace hath no story. 

Her hero no star, 
Since Nimrod, the Founder 

Of empire and chace, 
Who made the woods wonder 

And quake for their race. 
When the Lion was young. 

In the pride of his might, 
Then 'twas sport for the strong 

To embrace him in fight ; 
To go forth, with a pine 

For a spear, 'gainst the Mammoth, 
Or strike through the ravine 

At the foaming Behemoth ; 
While man was in stature 

As towers in our time. 
The first bom of nature, 

And, like her, sublime ! 

The Deformed Transformed, Lord By RON, 1824. 



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134 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

From ' QEdipus Tyrannus ' 

act 11. scene ii. 

Minotaur 

My name's John Bull ; I am a famous hunter, 
And can leap any gate in all Boeotia, 
Even the palings of the royal park, 
Or double ditch about the new enclosures ; 
And if your Majesty will deign to mount nie. 
At least till you have hunted down your game, 
I will not throw you. 

Iona Taurina 

{^During this speech she has been putting on boots and spur s^ and a 
hunting cap^ buckishly cocked on one side^ and tucking up her hair, 
she leaps nimbly on his back.) 

Hoa I hoa ! tallyho ! tallyho ! ho ! ho ! 
Come, let us hunt these ugly badgers down, 
These stinking foxes, these devouring otters. 
These hares, these wolves, these anything but men. 
Hey, for a whipper-in ! my loyal pigs, 
Now let your noses be as keen as beagles, 
Your steps as swift as greyhounds, and your cries 
More dulcet and symphonious than the bells 
Of village-towers, on sunshine holiday ; 
Wake all the dewy woods with jangling music. 
Give them no law (are they not beasts of blood }) 
But such as they gave you. Tallyho ! ho ! 
Through forest, furze, and bog, and den, and desart, 
Pursue the ugly beasts I tallyho ! ho ! 

Full Chorus of Iona and the Swine 

Tallyho ! tallyho : 
Through rain, hail, and snow, 
Through brake, gorse, and briar. 
Through fen, flood, and mire, 
We go I we go I 

Tallyho ! tallyho ! 
Through pond, ditch, and slough, 
Wind them, and find them, 
Like the Devil behind them, 
Tallyho ! tallyho ! 

Exeunt^ inftdl cry. 

CEdipus Tyrannus; or Svellfoot tht Tyra?tt : a Tragedy, 

P. B. Shelley, 1820. 



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SPORTING EXTRACTS 135 



From ' The Love Chase ' 

ACT II. SCENE III. 

Constance. . . . Worthy sir, 
Souls attract souls, when the/re of kindred vein. 
The life that you love, I love. Well I know, 
^Mongst those who breast the feats of the bold chase, 
You stand without a peer ; and for myself 
I dare avow 'mong such, none follows them 
With heartier glee than I do. 

WiLDRAKE. Churl were he 
That would gainsay you, madam ! 

Constance— c^wr/^jyiw^. What delight 
To back the flying steed, that challenges 
The wind for speed I — seems native more of air 
Than earth ! — whose burden only lends him fire ! — 
Whose soul in his task, turns labour into sport ! 
Who makes your pastime his ! I sit him now I 
He takes away my breath ! — He makes me reel I 
I touch not earth — I see not— hear not— All 
Is ecstacy of motion ! 

WiLDRAKE. You are used, 
I see, to the chase. 

Constance. I am, Sir : Then the leap. 
To see the saucy barrier, and know 
The mettle that can clear it I Then your time 
To prove you master of the manage. Now 
You keep him well together for a space. 
Both horse and rider braced as you were one. 
Scanning the distance — then you give him rein, 
And let him fly at it, and o'er he goes 
Light as a bird on wing. 

WiLDRAKE. *Twere a bold leap, 
I see, that tum'd you, madam, 

Constance. Sir, you're good ! 
And then the hounds, sir. Nothing I admire 
Beyond the running of the well-tram'd pack. 
The training's every thing I Keen on the scent ! 
At fault none losing heart ! — but all at work ! 
None leaving his task to another I — answering 
The watchful huntsman's caution, check, or cheer 
As steed his rider's rein ! Away they go ! 
How close they keep together I — What a pack I 
Nor turn nor ditch nor stream divides them — as 
They moved with one intelligence, act, will ! 
And then the concert they keep up I— enough 
To make one tenant of the merry- wood, 



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136 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

To list their jocund music I 

WiLDRAKE. You describe 
The huntsman's pastime to the life ! 

Constance. I love it ! 
To wood and glen, hamlet and town, it is 
A laughing holiday ! — Not a hill-top 
But's then alive ! — Footmen with horsemen vie. 
All earth's astir, roused with the revelry 
Of vigour, health, and joy ! — Cheer awakes cheer, 
While Echo's mimic tongue, that never tires, 
Keeps up the hearty din ! Each face is then 
Its neighbour's glass — where gladness sees itself, 
And, at the bright reflection, grows more glad ! 
Breaks into tenfold mirth ! — laughs like a child ! 
Would make a gift of its heart, it is so free ! 
Would scarce accept a kingdom, 'tis so rich ! 
Shakes hands with all, and vows it never knew 
That life was life before ! 

The Loi'e Chiue. James Shkkiuan Knowles, 1837. 




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INTRODUCTION 
TO POEMS, SONGS, AND BALLADS 



If there was a difficulty in selecting the most interesting ex- 
tracts from among the many allusions to sport in verse, the 
work of deciding w^hich songs and ballads should be included 
or rejected is no light one. 

The impression that a person must be a song-writer if 
capable of placing a capital letter before every five or six words, 
and ending those lines with terminations which rhyme more or 
less accurately, is common ; but we must study songs of sport 
to realise fully the reductio ad absurdum of such a proposition. 
Gleaned from all sources, collections, magazines, newspapers 
and manuscripts, under the heading of every conceivable sport, 
we have more than ten thousand songs ranging over the last 
450 years. Many of these are but variations of the same verses 
reproduced over and over again ; in the first edition they are 
often amusing on account of their quaintness, but the intended 
improvements have slowly abolished the one small charm they 
had, till the end of perfection leaves us in possession of pure 
and unadulterated trash. 

It is not easy to determine what fiend first made Auro ra 
the patron saint of hunting songs, but it may be fairly taken 
for granted that in one out of three cases she will be found 
mixed up in the first two lines. Sometimes she is coming 



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138 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

forth or about to appear ; perhaps she may be summoning 
someone, and even displaying her charms or having them 
neglected ; in fact, doing a hundred and one possible and im- 
possible things which enable the writer to work in such rhymes 
as dawn, thorn, lawn, and horn in this way : — 

Aurora, fair goddess of dawn, 
Is gilding the point of a thorn 
And, roused by the sound of our horn. 
Displays all her charms on the lawn. 

No sooner, however, have we settled that Aurora is, and has 
for some reason the right to be, considered our patron saint, 
than we begin to be doubtful, for we find that Phoebus and 
Sol run her very closely ; for while Aurora is appearing, Phoebus 
is spreading his beams over the streams, or mounting his car 
under a star, whilst Diana is eager for war. Sol, on the other 
hand, seems to be a lower- minded being of the same kind, who 
is usually either doffing his nightcap, squinting, winking his 
eye, or rousing himself from somebody's lap— for preference 
Hebe's. We have, it is true, for a change now and then a 
visit from Cynthia or Hesperus, but this as a rule is only when 
the poet likes a Httle rugged scansion. 

The following four lines, taken at random, will give a fair 
idea (allowing for variations) of the commencement of some 
two thousand songs : — 

Fain longer would indolent Phoebus recline, 

Neglecting Aurora's bright charms. 
But the hale glowing troop of Diana combine 

To rouse him from Sleep's languid arms. 

It is little exaggeration to say that in one collection of over 
four hundred sporting songs, from which we have selected 
about one per cent, Aurora and Phoebus have each close on 
one hundred appearances, Sol rather fewer, and the minor 
deities in proportion. Moreover, the compilers of such inter- 
esting collections, not satisfied with ^yo, or six versions of one 
song, not infrequently have printed word for word the same 
verses twice over, as if it were impossible to have too much of 
so good a thing. 



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INTRODUCTION TO POEMS, SONGS, ^c, 139 

Having given just a rough idea of the kind of songs we do 
not intend to reproduce, we will now again turn to the still 
large collection before us. 

The oldest of these songs are probably to be found in the 
Roxburghe and various collections of ballads belonging to the 
British Museum and other libraries. The way in which these 
stray leaflets or broad-sheets have been preserved and bound 
together is too well known and too lengthy a matter to go into 
here ; for the sake, however, of those who have not had the 
opportunity of seeing some of the originals, we reproduce one 
here. Most of these ballads, however, are much older in 
all probability than the paper on which they are printed, 
many having been handed down either in writing or by word 
of mouth, and as they were reproduced every few years, it 
is quite possible that some of the earlier editions have long 
been extinct. The woodcuts on the top of many of them 
are ver>' quaint, and were often used quite indiscriminately ; 
for instance, if the printer had no hunting scene, he would 
place a couple of lovers above * The Fox Hunt ; ' or, vice versa, 
the fox and hounds over a love song ; sometimes even, if 
the blocks got broken or defaced, a part of one engraving and 
a part of another over either or both. These so-called illus- 
trated songs were very popular in their day, being sold for a 
low price about the streets and in the various shops. They 
doubtless would have been even more prized if there had been 
a greater number of people able to read them. 

It must be borne in mind that these ballads are seldom 
dated, and as many of them have been collected in recent 
years, the only clue to when they were composed must either 
be sought from the print, paper, illustration, or in the matter 
itself. The Rev. J. W. Ebsworth, who is the greatest authority 
on this subject, has done much by the most patient research to 
throw a light on the darkness, and we are indebted to him both 
for his works and his kindly personal assistance. Nevertheless, 
we have often, after trying every means available, been obliged 
to rely on very slight evidence, more especially in those songs 



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I40 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



which are obviously much older than the first known edi- 
tions. Instead, therefore, of giving dates which often have 
been or would be mere guesswork, it will be our endeavour 

Princely Diverfion, or the Jovial Hunting Match, 




ON EVakntirterDajr in the Morning, A The Morning was plea(«nc all OTCr 
brixht ch*b*u began to appear, Z ^ >>r^9!^^ «nd To eletr wasrbe 5kr. 

Sir Wm Cook winding hit Horn v We made all the Woods fa to roar. 

And wasgoirtg a hunting the hare, 41 With the Noift of our fwecc harmonf. 

^ayi Hsadford uneouple our 8cd{Mi^ m t was for the (pace of three Hours 

And let them go (^acf)ing alojif ^ We held all oar Hdrrcs lo fpceil 

For loofe her or win her, we miiftgo toiriMcr g Black floven held hard to bay Robfn 



Or elfc chey will think me long. 

Says Hirndftrd { pray now forbare fir 
A nd talk not of Dinner fo loon 
For I've not been a hunting this Year 
And how can you give oyer by Noou 
Black Shvtfi (h«U W4rm ynur tay Ketm 
And make him lO Smoacking along. 
Bonny Dick (ball not Gallop flb quick 
If we light of a Uafc that k ftrong. 

Well lUrndftrd faid the good Elquife. 
iDictn to (how yoo a trick 
/value not hedges nor Ditches 
But I'll letyon know bonny Dick 
Then hie for the Chfom'Btw.FieU^ 
We Qiallget her Ten thouland to one, 
7*herels Wonder, lays hard uponThooder 
Awty, o*ei away (lie is goocs 



m But Yet could not do the deed, 

m ft wa/ abour Nine in rbe morning 
m W« foaoded our 6rft pa/Eng Bell 
^ dt William pray put up your born 
m For another Frefb Mare will do well, 
f Well Hanafsrd Uid the good fiCqoire 
^ What think yov oi ay bonny Dtck 
2 doe'sihink ihoo can make hun to tiie 
9 or not for to Gallop fo qaick, 

2 Faith MafUr I needs muA Cooliifc, 
W Thar i fear i was boafting to loon 
* But hie fc>r aoothet freft Hire 

»" And your Dick Ibould have dinn'd by oooa 
Well H^itdford have tt your black floyen 
;g ril makebim in Purple Co RJde 
an And if he does offer to tiia 
▼/'ll certainly liqyotyeurhkle 



to arrange the songs in the order of their apparent age, and 
to give the name of the collection from which they have been 
taken. 



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INTRODUCTION TO POEMS, SONGS, dr^c. 141 

We have tried, as mentioned in the Introduction, to trace 
back each piece and to give the earliest rendering, thereby dis- 
regarding the many stages through which it has passed. It is 
possible sometimes to find eight distinct variations, and as the 
first is not always the best verse, some of our friends will appear 
here in old garments that seem to fit them rather awkwardly. 
The extraordinary liberties that have been taken in the past 
with the works of fairly well-known writers will be incredible 
to those who have not studied the subject. Many editors and 
printers seem to have considered it part of their duty to improve 
the work on which they were engaged, till often in a hundred 
years hardly a vestige of the original remains. It may be in- 
teresting to give an example. On looking over one of the 
magazines issued seventy years ago, a passage quoted from an 
author whose works were known to us seemed unfamiliar ; we 
traced it, however, by a note to an edition printed about 1720, 
and found that, though differing slightly on account of a few 
misprints, it was fairly accurate. We then turned to the 
original work, but still failed to identify it. After going 
through four other intervening reprints, we discovered a clue, 
and were able at last to fit some of the lines in their places ; 
the others had been simply added from time to time. One of the 
worst of these faults is the habit of altering the names of per- 
sons referred to in the text to suit the date of the reprint, in 
which way a poet who died in the sixteenth century may be 
found praising the excellent horsemanship of some king born 
in the seventeenth. 

It will easily be seen, since this was done openly when the 
poet was known, how careful we require to be in judging a 
ballad with neither date nor name. The mention of Queen 
Elizabeth as ruling at the time may seem conclusive evidence, 
but unless we know how many names had preceded hers, it 
can at best be only suggestive. 

It is somewhat strange that, considering how popular any 
collection of sporting songs has always proved, no attempt ever 
seems to have been made to bring out even an approximately 



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142 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

representative edition. Those that we have, excepting one or 
two on Fishing, are out of date ; but that is their least fault, for 
no pains whatever seems to have been taken with any of them 
either in the selection or arrangement. The songs are seldom of 
historical interest, and the few w^hich show signs of it have been 
printed in such a comparatively modern and garbled form that 
half their value is lost. One would almost suppose these works 
to have been compiled from the refuse, carelessly swept 
together, of a sporting editor's waste-paper basket. 

In most editorial work there is a fairly solid, if uneven, 
groundwork on which to build ; but not so here, and we trust 
in some way to remedy the defect. That our collection can be 
perfect is impossible ; well nigh as easy would it be to compile 
an accurate dictionary of a language at the first attempt. In the 
mass of chaff some good grain is certain to have slipt through, 
besides which the limitations of space have obliged us to 
leave out much excellent work that we should have been glad 
to include. Information possessed by others is, moreover, not 
always procurable. For example, there is or was a song on 
football written by Somervile. This we know, but every 
attempt to obtain it has so far proved unavailing, though we 
have reason to believe that in some private collection a copy 
still exists, and probably there are others hidden away. It 
is often a difficult matter, when a book or pamphlet is not in 
any of the well-known public libraries, to find it, and a good 
many works on sporting literature are unfortunately not in any 
of these splendid collections. The British Museum does not 
contain even a complete edition of the * Sporting Magazine,' 
although three or four perfect sets have been sold in the 
last twenty years. Now, however, these defects are being 
rapidly remedied by the energy of those in authority, and 
even w^hilst collecting material for this work we discovered 
nearly two hundred volumes on various subjects which have 
since been bought by the Trustees and added to our national 
library. 

Whilst speaking of the British Museum, it would be un- 



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INTRODUCTION TO POEMS, SONGS, 6r-c. 143 

gracious not to express our indebtedness to Dr. Garnett and 
Mr. Fletcher for the invariable courtesy and assistance we 
have received from them, as well as from many others in the 
Reading-room. Also to Professor Colvin and his assistants in 
the Print-room, for the facilities granted us, whilst reproducing 
many of their rare and valuable illustrations, and for informa- 
tion on sporting prints, &c. 

It may be surprising to some of our readers that we have 
included so little that has been written of recent years. In 
some, but not many, cases the law of copyright has prevented 
us from doing so, and we acknowledge with gratitude the kind 
permission which we have obtained to print some of the poems, 
without which the book could hardly have been considered 
complete. But possibly from the reason suggested in the Intro- 
duction, there has been little of note written for some time on 
sport ; our modern verse-writers seem to have been too busy 
either love-making, philosophising, or groaning over the mis- 
fortunes of life, to deign to descend to these trivial joys ; but 
signs are not wanting of a more healthy tone, and some of our 
leading critics, who do much to turn the tide of public feeling, 
have certainly assisted in the slaughter of the effeminates. 
They may not yet have discovered a poet who is capable of 
describing a perfectly healthy and well-balanced being, but 
they have expressed a distaste (shared by many) for having 
only those minds which are nourished by diseased bodies dis- 
sected for their intellectual entertainment. 

At the conclusion of what we may term the more serious 
portion of our work will be found, under the heading of * Humor- 
ous Songs and Parodies,' a number of songs which will, we 
trust, afford amusement. We have especially endeavoured to 
collect some pieces written in close imitation of the style of 
those poets whose works have not been produced here. 

Unfortunately the wit of bygone days was too often of a 
kind which does not harmonise with the present rules of taste, 
and, therefore, little of this part of the book is of value his- 
torically ; but we think that the veteran sportsman will find 



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144 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

much in it that will entertain him, while to the novice we can 
highly recommend it as a safe form of inoculation. A small 
and comparatively painless dose of this satire taken into the 
system will probably save him many hours of feverish humi- 
liation not easily forgotten. As the insects that sting are 
better known and remembered than the many other species of 
flies, a few cutting lines (even though we apply them only 
to our neighbours) sink in and have more effect than many 
careful rules ; for these rules are at critical moments often 
forgotten, whilst the satire, having been learnt by heart for the 
use of someone else, is ever present. How often do we see 
some comparative novice turn with the scorn called forth by 
a remembrance of * Handley Cross ' upon one who speaks of a 
dog in the hunting field ! It might, in fact, be given as a 
cockney sporting riddle, *When is a dog not a dog?' with 
answer, 'When it's a hound.' It will, I fancy, surprise not a 
few of these would-be authorities to find that this absurdity 
was as unknown even among so-called sportsmen prior to this 
century as it is by sportsmen at the present time. We do not 
say that Mr. Surtees is to blame, but that the novice, having 
heard the term dog used as a word of reproach to indicate that 
every dog is not to be called a hound, has fallen into the mis- 
take of supposing that therefore a hound is not to be called a 
dog. We have touched on this matter here on account of the 
frequent mention of dogs in hunting verse, and to prevent any 
of our readers from making the mistake, of which a super- 
ficial writer recently was guilty, to suppose that anyone who 
so expressed himself was not qualified by experience to 
write on the subject. The true sportsman was and is as little 
afraid of calling a hound a dog as the true gentleman would 
he of calling a lady a woman. 

Among the extracts we have so many that refer to various 
sports that it was impossible to subdivide them under special 
headings, but in the songs this difficulty rarely occurs, and for 
the sake of convenience it has seemed better to keep them as 
far as possible separate, so that anyone interested in a special 



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INTRODUCTION TO POEMS, SONGS, &^c. 145 

subject shall be able to indulge his inclination without let or 
hindrance. 

Hunting and Fishing, being the most ancient, will neces- 
sarily take pre-eminence. With regard to Hawking, we have 
felt compelled to curtail the space as much as possible ; for 
though we are glad to say that it is far from being an obsolete 
sport, yet, on account of the many difficulties now encoun- 
tered in its enjoyment, it is open to few, and therefore of 
less general interest ; still, we feel sure that those who care to 





\ 

In 








bN«p^ 



follow this amusement will already have seen that it has not 
been neglected. 

It must be admitted with reluctance that Shooting has not 
been very satisfactorily dealt with in verse. We have plenty 
of material ; but, alas I the pudding is heavy and the plums 
few. The gun seems to have had as deadly effect upon life 
in the verse as upon life in the victim ; for, whereas in 
the days of archery many lines and lives escaped extinction, 



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146 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

the invention of powder seems to have been equally fatal to 
both. Over and over again have we struck some new lode 
which, considering its thickness, promised to contain unhmited 
ore ; but, alas ! how often the title has proved but a decoy 
nugget dropped on barren clay ! Many of these curiosities we 
possess, and as they are likely to find their way into the British 
Museum, anyone interested in the subject will be able to read 
them at his leisure, but we could hardly, even on acccount of 
their rarity, inflict them on the public. 

Judging from the works of early writers, it does not seem 
that the games which we now include as sports were regarded 
by them with the same reverence. Golf, goff, bandy ball, or 
cambuca, as some think it was first called, seems to have been 
the most ancient. The ball employed was very similar to the 
one used until about fifty years ago, being made of leather stuffed 
with feathers ; and the game seems to have been always played 
in much the same way, either by two or four players. A 
variation of the game was played on the ice in Holland ; a 
good illustration of which is reproduced on p. 145. Though 
this pastime is mentioned in prose as early as the reign of 
Edward II., we have not been able to find any verse on the 
subject before the end of the sixteenth century, and it is 
usually only referred to in songs on other subjects, as in the 
following verse from * And to each pretty lass we will give a 
green gown ' : 

Thus all our life long we are frolick and gay, 
And instead of Court- revels, we merrily play 
At Trap, at Rules, ^ and at Barly-break '^ run ; 
At Goff, and at Foot-ball, and when we have done 
These innocent sports, we'l laugh and lie down 

And to each pretty Lass 

We will give a ji^reen Gon'n. 

I f t'stminster Drollery, ib-j\. 

Or again, as in the ' Satyre on the Familie of Stours,' per- 
haps one of the oldest : 

^ any kind of frolic. * a sort of prisoners' base. 



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INTRODUCTION TO POEMS, SONGS, 6^c. 147 ' 

He Jure postliminii did transub 

Himself to ball, the Parliament to club, 

Which will him holl when right teased at one blow, 

Or els Sir Patrick will be the shinnie goe. 

Maidtncnt : a Ftook of Scoiish Pasguils, 1568-171 5. 1868. 

It was not until the beginning of the seventeenth century 
that this game, with many others, became fashionable ; for until 
then, with one or two exceptions, all such recreations were 
looked down upon as being fitted only either to prepare youths 
for what were considered the manlier sports of hunting and 
hawking, or else as a pastime for the common people, as can 
be noticed in such references as this on football : — 

The sturdie plowmen lustie, strong and bold, 
Overcometh the winter with driving the foote-ball, 
Forgetting labour and many a grievous fall. 

Ship of Fools, 1508. 

The consequence is that we are rather badly off for old 
songs on games ; but we have nevertheless been able to gather 
together some which will be found worthy of attention ; among 
them there is one on billiards, which, as far we know^, is here 
reprinted for the first time after a lapse of two hundred years. 
If we are right in thinking that these verses have been lost 
sight of, their reproduction is of considerable importance ; for 
they fully explain how the game was played in the sixteenth 
century. The old method has for long been a matter of 
discussion, and even Strutt (the most painstaking of all writers 
on our subject) seems to have been unable to understand it. 
The verses, however, strengthen his view that billiards was at 
first but a table variation of mace bowls. 

A few words are now due to those who in various 
parts of the country have for years been diligent collectors of 
sporting songs, some giving their attention to one branch and 
some to another. To you, most dangerous of all critics, the 
several joints of our harness will be revealed. Lying well 
guarded in the armour of the specialist, with the sharp-pointed 
weapon of local knowledge to thrust at the general traveller, we 

1. 2 

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148 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

can hardly expect to escape you unwounded. Had we sought 
in all your private libraries, visited all your favourite haunts, or 
hunted with each local pack, and thus tried to discover its 
special bards, we know still that you would have been too many 
for us. From some secret hiding-place would have been drawn 
those harmless-looking weapons, a more ancient version of 
some song, a ballad of infinite superiority to anything here 
produced (and of which only twenty copies were printed), or 
worse still, some evidence to prove us in the wrong as to our 
dates, names, &c. Do we not ourselves possess such valued 
weapons, and know the joy of handling them ? Are they not 
piled away and carefully labelled, ready when the appointed 
time shall come, or already rusty with the blood of the victim ? 
Thus, when from the secure retreat of our speciality, and the 
well-known haunts in which we deem ourselves invincible, we 
have dared to wander over your preserves, our courage wavers, 
and fain would we ask for terms of peace, yet refrain. In such 
not really unfriendly warfare is error, not man, defeated, 
and if one or two of us get a mortal wound through oar pre- 
sumption, there are plenty as good and better to take our 
place and drive the ball of information gaily on its way. 

But after all, what have we to do with the critic ? How 
easy is it to carp, how hard to be natural and happy ; to cast 
off, if only for the time, all trouble and care, and sit quietly 
down and enjoy ourselves ! A much brighter life would be ours 
if some blest spirit placed in our too prominent nostrils the ring 
of wisdom — we should find the earth pleasanter to lie upon from 
our inability to grub beneath the surface in our ceaseless search 
for error. Therefore, with relief we turn to you, our brother 
sportsmen ; for to you, and to you only, is this book offered. 
If, after a good day's sport, you are not too weary to turn over 
a few pages, may what we have here collected recall the pre- 
vious pleasant hours ; or if from some misfortune you are 
debarred for a short time (and may such times be few) from 
participating in the delight of action, we hope these pages may 
bring back some of the pleasure of which otherwise you might 



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INTRODUCTION TO POEMS, SONGS, &-c. 149 

be altogether deprived. When we cannot live in the present 
there is surely a joy to be found in turning to the past, and to 
those whose imagination is not dead what a field of suggestion 
is open here ! The petty annoyances of the moment can be 
forgotten as we glide lightly over the years that are gone, and, 
half dreaming, find ourselves gaily riding forth in novel costume 
with the merry sportsmen of the past. We hail the jovial 
country squire, and as he chats to us time is forgotten. He 
may not be quite so enlightened in some things (thank Heaven !) 
as the modern School Board child ; he has never heard of rail- 
ways, of telegraphs, of heredity or hypnotism ; but he can tell 
us something about country life as it was, and not as it is 
often represented to have been by the town-living jaundiced 
dilettante. His grammar may be a little shaky, and the songs 
he gives us after dinner not always quite up to the metrical 
standard acquired by modern songsters ; but what a breath of 
good, honest, healthy life seems to pervade the atmosphere in 
which we find him ! Does he propound such pleasing riddles as 
* Is life worth living ? ' Not a bit of it ! Having found out un- 
consciously Punch's answer, he has never even been troubled 
with the question, and would consider anyone who asked it a 
fool. * Life worth living ! ' you seem to hear him say. * Man 
alive, don't you know the hounds meet to-morrow, and the 
wind's backing to the south ? Get to bed ! We shall have to 
be off before sunrise, and you can answer the question yourself 
when you hear the first " Tally-ho ! " ' Dear old bygone days ! 
With all our modern improvement, have we bettered you? 
Are we really so much wiser and nobler and happier than our 
ancestors ? It is easy to see their faults. What would they 
think of ours ? It is easy to jeer at their folly, but would they 
have nothing to laugh at were they with us once again ? 

May the day be far distant when we have become so logical 
that none can find fault with us ; so wise that simple pleasure 
seems foolishness ; so sensible that we die either of despair 
or dulness. As the work of a genius is always more open to 
attack than that of the dealer in elegant platitudes, so are the 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 



exuberant pleasures of health than the morbid moralisings of 
distemper, for one is the deformity of that which is truthful, 
the other is truthful only of deformity. Alas ! to many it seems 
more righteous to speak accurately and thereby tell a lie, than 
by a false or exaggerated statement to convey a truth. 

Against such attacks has sport and all that pertains to it 
to contend ; yet has it nought to fear ; the healthy reaction 
which follows all non-fatal disease is still working. Though 
time may change many things, and the conditions of life must 
alter, yet will the children of Britain remain at heart what they 
have always proved themselves to be, true sportsmen. 




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POEMS, SONGS, AND BALLADS 



HUNTING 
Sonet 

Who, so list to hount, I knowe where is an hynde. 

But, as for me halas^ I may no more. 

The vayne travaill, hath weried me so sore. 

I am of them, that furdest cume behinde. 

Yet may I, by no meanes, my weried mynde 

Drawe from the Deer ; but as she fleeth afore 

Faynting I followe, I leve of therefore, 

Sins in a nett I seke to hold the wynde. 

Who list her hunt, I put him owte of double 

As well, as 1 may spend his tyme in vain. 

And, graven with Diamondes, in letters plain. 

There is written, her faier neck rounde abowie. 

Noli me tangere, for Ciesars 1 am, 

And wylde for to holde, though I seme tame. 

Sir Thomas Wyatt, from a MS. formerly in 
possession of Dr. Xoit. 

From ' A Briefe Discourse of the true (but 

neglected) use of Charactring the 

Degrees, etc' 

A Hunts up. (John Bennet.) 

The hunt is up, sing merrily wee, 

The hunt is up, sing merrily wee, the hunt is up, 

The Birds they sing, the Deare they fling, 

hey nony nony nony no, 
The Hounds they crye, the Hunters they flye, 

hey tro li lo, tro lo li lo, hey tro lo li lo li li lo. 
Cho. The hunt is up, ut supra. 



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152 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The IVoods resounds 
To heere the Hounds ^ 

hey, nony nony-no : 
The Rocks resport 
This merry sport, 

hey, trohlo trololilo. 

/Cho. The hunt is up, the hunt is up, 

1 Sing merrily wee the hunt is up. 

Then hye apace 
Unto the chase 

hey nony, nony nony— no. 
Whilst every thing 
Doth sweetly sing, 

hey troli-lo trololy — lo. 
The hunt is up, the hunt is up. 
Sing merrily wee the hunt is up. 

Thomas Ravenscrokt, Bachelor of M us icke, 1614. 

To Diana 

Oueene and Huntresse, chaste, and faire. 
Now the Sunne is laid to sleepe, 
Seated, in thy silver chaire, 
State in wonted manner keepe : 

Hesperus intreats thy light, 

Goddesse, excellently bright. 

Earth, let not thy envious shade 
Dare it selfe to interpose ; 
Cynthias shining orbe was made 
Heaven to cleere, when day did close: 

Blesse us then with wished sight, 

(joddesse, excellently bright. 

Lay thy bow of pearle apart, 
And thy cristall-shining quiver ; 
Give unto the flying hart 
Space to breathe, how short soever : 

Thou that mak'st a day of night, 

Goddesse, excellently bright, 
Cynthia s Reiells. Thf Workcs of Beniafnin Jonson, 161 6. 

Hymne to Pan 

1. Oi Pan we sing, the best of singers Pan 
That taught us swaines, how first to tune our layes, 
And on the pipe more aires then Phoebus can. 

Cho. Heare O you groves, and hills resound his praise. 

2. Of Pan we sing, the best of Leaders, Pan 



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HUNTING 



153 



That leads the Nayad's, and the Dryad's forth, 
And to their daunces more then Hermes can. 

Cho. Hear O you groves, and hills resound his worth. 

3. Oi Pan we sing, the best of Hunters, Pan 
That drives the Heart to seeke unused wayes, 
And in the chace more then Sylvanus can, 

Cho. Heare O you groves, and hills resound his praise. 

4. Of Pan we sing, the best of Shepherds, Pan^ 
That keepes our flocks, and us, and both leads forth 
To better pastures then great Pales can ; 

Cho. Heare O you groves, and hills resound his wprth. 
And while his powers, and praises thus we sing, « 

The Valleys let rebound, and all the rivers ring. 

Pans Anniversarie. The Workes of Benin mi n yonson, 1640. 



On the Head of a Stag' 

So we some antique Herds strength 
Learn by his launces, weight and length ; 
As these vast beams expresse the beast, 




Whose shadie browes alive they drest. 
Such game while yet the world was new. 
The mighty Nimrod did pursue. 



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154 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

What Huntsman of our feeble race, 
Or dogs dare such a monster chase ? 
Resembling with each blow he strikes 
The charge of a whole troop of Pikes • 
O fertile head which every yeare 
Could such a crop of wonder bear I 
The teemmg earth did never bring 
So soon, so hard, so huge a thing ; 
Which might it never have been cast 
Each years growth added to the last : 
These lolty branches had supply'd 
The earth's bold sons prodigous pride : 
Heaven with these engines had bin scal'd 
When mountains heap'd on mountains fail'd. 

The Workes of Rdmond Waller, 1645 



The Fox Chase 

The sun has just peep'd his head o'er the hills, 
While the ploughboy he whistles cross the fields, 
And the birds they are singing so sweet on each spray 
Says the huntsman to his dogs, * tally ho I hark away I ' 

CHORUS 

Tally ho I hark away, tally ho ! hark away. 
Tally ho, tally ho, tally ho, hark away. 

Come, come, my brave sportsmen, and make no delay. 
Quick, saddle your horses, and let's brush away, 
For the fox is in view, and is kindled with scorn, 
Come along, my brave sportsmen, and join the shrill horn. 

Tally ho, &c. 

He led us £. chase, more than fifty long miles, 
Over hedges, over ditches, over gates, and over stiles. 
Little David came up with his musical horn. 
We shall soon overtake him, for his brush drags along. 

Tally ho, &c. 

We followed him in chase, six hours full cry. 
Tally ho, hark away, for now he must die. 
Now we'll cut off his brush, with a hallooing noise. 
And drink good success to fox-hunting boys. 

Tally ho, &c. 

CramptoH Ballads^ 



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HUA'TING 

Three Jovial Huntsmen 

There were three jovial huntsmen, 

A hunting they would go, 
To see whether they'd find sly Reynard, 

Among the woods and groves. 



15S 




CHORUS 

With a hoop, hoop, hoop, and a hallow, 

All in this merry train, 
To my ran tan too, to my chevy, chevy chase, 
Away to the royal bar. 
With my ugle, ugle, ugle, and the blast of the bugle horn. 

To my ri fal de ra, to my diddle don, 
And it's through the woods we'll run, brave boys. 



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156 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The first was an old woman, 

A combing down her locks, 
She said she saw bold Reynard 

Among the geese and ducks. Chorus. 

The next was a miller, 

A grinding in his mill, 
He said he saw bold Reynard, 

Approaching yonder hill. 

The next it was a blind man, 

As blind as blind could be, 
He said he heard bold Reynard 

Running up yonder tree. 

The next it was a Parson, 

He was dressed in black. 
He said he saw bold Reynard 

Tied to the huntsman's back. 

With a hoop, hoop, hoop, and a hallow, 

All in this merry train. 
To my ran tan too, to my chevy chase 
Away to the Royal Bar, 
With my ugle, ugle, and the blast of the bugle horn, 

To my ri fal de ra, to my diddle, diddle don, 
And it's through the woods we'll run, brave boys. 

liallad. 

Southerly Wind and a Cloudy Sky 

Southerly wind and a cloudy sky, 
Proclaims a hunting morning, 
Before the sun rise, we nimbly fly, 
Dull sleep and a downy bed scorning. 

To horse my boys, to horse away, 

The chase admits of no delay. 

On horseback we've got, together we'll trot. 

On horseback we've got, together we'll trot. 
Leave off your chat, see if the cover appear, 
The hound that strikes first, cheer him without fear. 
Drag on him, ah wind him, my steady good hound, 
Drag on him, ah wind him, the cover resounds. 

How completely the cover and furze they draw. 

Who talks of Bany or Meynell, 

Young Lasher he flourishes now thro' the shaw, 

And Saucebix roars out in his kennel. 
Away we fly as quick as thought, 
The new sown ground soon makes them fault, 



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HUNTING 157 

Cast round the sheep's train, cast round, cast round, 
Try back the deep lane, try back, try back. 
Hark, 1 hear some hounds challenge in yonder spring sedge, 
Comfort Bitch hits it off in that old thick hedge. 
Hark forward, hark forward, have at him my Boys, 
Hark forward, hark forward, zounds don't make a noise. 

A stormy sky overcharged with rain, 
Both hounds and huntsmen opposes. 
In vain on your mettle, you tr>' boys in vain, 
But down you must go to your noses. 

Each moment the sky now grows worse, 

Enough to make a parson curse ; 

Prick thro' the plow'd ground, prick through, prick through, 

Well hunted good hounds, well hunted, well hunted. 
If we can but get on, we shall soon make him quake. 
Hark, I hear some hounds challenge in the midst of the brake, 
Tally ho, tally ho, there across the green plain. 
Tally ho, tally ho, boys have at him again. 




Prick thro' the plow'd ground 

Thus we ride, whip and spur, for a two hours chace. 

Our horses go panting and sobbing. 

Young Mad Cap and Riot, begin now the race. 

Ride on, Sir, and give him some mobbing. 
But hold alas, you'll spoil our sport. 
For thro' the Hounds you'll head him short. 



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158 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Clap round him dear pack, clap round, clap round, 
Hark, Drummer, hark back, hark back, hark back. 
He's jumping and dodging in every bush. 
Little Riot has fasten'd her teeth in his brush. 
Whoo' hoop, whoo' hoop, he's fairly run down, 
Whoo' hoop, whoo' hoop, he's fairly run down. 

CrampUm Ballads. 

The Hunting of the Hare 

With her last Whj. and Testament 

As 'twas perfornvd on Bamstead downs 
By Cony-catchers and their hounds. 
To a pleasant new Tune. 

\Pf all the sports the world doth yield.] 

Of all delights that Earth doth yeeld. 
Give mee a pack of hounds in field : 
Whose eccho shall throughout the sky 
yi^k^Jove admire our harmony, 

and wish that he a mortal were 

to view the pastime we have here. 

I will tell you of a rare scent. 
Where many a gallant horse was spent 
On Bamste id- Downs a Hare we found 
Which led us all a smoaking round ; 

o're hedge and ditch away she goes, 

admiring her approaching foes. 

but when she found her strength to wast 
She parleyed with the hounds at last : 
Kind hounds, quoth she, forbear to kill 
A harmless Hare that neer thought ill, 

and if your Master sport do crave, 

I'll lead a scent as he would have. 

[huntsman] 

Away, away, thou art alone, 
Make haste, I say, and get thee gone, 
Wee'l give thee law for half a mile 
To see if thou canst us beguile, 

but then expect a thund'ring cr>', 

made by us and our harmony. 

[hare] 

Now since you set my life so sleight, 
I'l make black sloven turn to white : • 
.\nd Yorkshire Gray that runs at all, 



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HUNTING 159 

rie make him wish he were in stall, 
or Sorrel he that seems to flye, 
rie make him supple e're he dye. 

Let Bamards Bay do what he can, 
Or Barrens Bay that now and than, 
Did interrupt mee on my way, 
rie make him neither jet nor play, 

or constant Robin though he lye, 

at his advantage, what care I. 

Will Hatton he hath done mee wrong. 
He struck mee as I run along, 
And with one pat made mee so sore, 
That I ran reeling to and fro ; 

but if I dye his Master tell, 

that fool shall ring my passing bell. 

[huntsman] 

Alas poor Hare it is our nature. 
To kill thee, and no other creature, 
For our Master wants a bit, 
And thou wilt well become the spit, 

he'l eat thy flesh, we'l pick thy bone, 

this is thy doom, so get thee gone. 

[hare] 

Your Master may have better chear. 

For I am dry, and butter is dear, 

But, if he please to make a friend. 

He'd better give a puddings end, 
for I being kill'd the sport he'l lack, 
and I must hang on the Hunts- man's back. 

[huntsman] 

Alas poor Hare we pity thee. 
If with our nature 'twould agree. 
But all thy doubling shifts I fear. 
Will not prevail, thy death's so near 

then make thy Will, it may be that, 

may save thee, or I know not what. 

[the hare makes her will] 

Then I bequeathe my body free, 
Unto your Masters courtesie : 
And if he please my life to grant, 
lie be his game when sport is scant : 

but if I dye each greedy Hound, 

divides my entrals on the ground. ^ t 

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i6o THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Item, I do give and bequeathe, 
To men in debt (after my death) 
My subtle scent, that so they may, 
Beware of such as would betray, 

them to a miserable fate 

by blood-hounds from the Compter-gate. 

Item^ I do a turn-coat give 
(That he may more obscurely live) 
My swift and sudden doublings which, 
Will make him politick and rich, 

though at the last with many wounds 
I wish him kilFd by his own hounds. 

Item, I give into their hands, 

That purchase Dean & Chapters lands, 

My wretched jealousies and fears, 

Mixt with salt of Orphans tears, 
that long vexations may persever, 
to plague them and their heirs for ever. 

Before I dye (for breath is scant) 

I would supply mens proper want. 

And therefore I bequeath(e) unto. 

The Scrivener (give the Devil his due) 
that Forgeth, Swears, and then forswears 
(to save his credit) both my Ears. 

I give to some Sequestred njan, 

My skin to make a jacket on : 

And I bequeathe my feet to they, 

That shortly mean to run away. 

When truth is Speaker, False-hood's dumb. 
Foxes must flye when Lions come. 

To Fidlers (for all Trades must live) 
To serve for strings, my guts I give : 
For Gamesters that do play at rut, 
And love the sport, I give my skut : 
but (last of all in this sad dump) 
To Tower-Hill I bequeathe my Rump» 

[huntsman] 

Was ever Hounds so basely crost. 
Our Masters call us off so fast. 
That we the scent have almost lost. 
And they themselves must rule the rost, 

therefore kind Hare wee'l pardon you. 

Thanks gentle Hounds, and so adue. 



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HUNTING i6i 

[hare] 

And since your Master hath pardon'd me 
rie lead you all to Banbury^ 
Whereas John Turner hath a Room, 
To entertain all Guests that come 

to laugh and quaff in Wine and Beer 

a full carouse to your Careere. 

Roxburghe Ballads, May, 1660. 

When Bucks a Hunting go 

How sweet is the horn that sounds in the morn 

When bucks a hunting go, 
When bucks a hunting go, 

While all my fancy dwells upon Nancy, 
ril sing tally oh ! 

The Fox jump'd over the gate so high. 

And the hounds all after him go, 
The hounds all after him go. 

While all my fancy dwells upon Nancy, 
rU sing tally oh ! 

How happy is my wife and I, 

When that we homeward go. 
When that we homeward go, 

While all my fancy dwells upon Nancy, 
I'll sing tally oh ! 

Now since it's so, let's merry be. 

We will drink before we go, 
We will drink before we go, 

While all my fancy dwells upon Nancy, 
I'll sing tally oh ! 



Ballad, 



The Dusky Night 



The dusky night rides down the sky 

And ushers in the mom. 
The hounds all make a jovial cry. 

The huntsman winds his horn. 
Then a hunting we will go, &c. 

The wife around her husband throws. 

Her arms to make him stay, 
My dear, it hails, it rains, it blows. 

You cannot hunt to day. 

But a hunting we will go, &c. 

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i62 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The uncavern'd fox, like lightning flies, 

His cunning's all awake, 
Again the race he eager tries. 

His forfeit life's the stake. 
When a hunting we will go, &c. 

Rous'd even echo huntress turns, 

And madly shouts her joy, 
The sportsman's breast enraptur'd burns, 

The chace can never cloy. 
Then a hunting we will go, &c. 

Despairing mark he seeks the tide, 

His heart ' must now prevail, 
Hark ! shouts the miscreant's death betide. 

His speed, his cunning fail. 
Then a hunting we will go, &c. 

For oh ! his strength to faintness worn, 

The hounds arrest his flight, 
Then hungr}' homewards we return. 
To feast away the night. 

Then a hunting we will go, &c. 

nallad. 

Hark Forward's the Cry 

Hark forward I away, my brave boys to the chase, 
To the joys that sweet exercise yield ; 

The bright ruddy morning breaks on us apace. 
And invites to the sports of the field. 

Hark forward's the cry, and cheerful the mom. 

Then follow the hounds and merry-toned horn. 

No music can equal the hounds in full cry. 

Hark ! they open — they haste away ; 
O'er hill, dale, and valley, with vigour we fly, 

W^hile pursuing the sports of the day. 
Hark forward's the cry, &c. 

With the sports of the field no joys can compare. 
To pleasure's light footsteps we trace ; 

We run down dull sloth, and we distance old care. 
Rosy health we o'ertake in the chase. 

Hark forward's the cry, &c. 

Ballad. 



V.l. art. 



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HUNTING 163 

White Hare 

It's near Maxfield town boys as I heard them tell, 
There once was a white hare, that used there to dwell, 
She's been hunted by greyhounds and beagles as fair, 
But never one amongst them could come near this white hare. 
With my fal de ral, &c. 

Oh ! then squire Strutford hearing of the news, 
Says he we'll kill this white hare any day we choose, 
With ten couple beagles and a few gentlemen, 
It's we will go a hunting O then and O then. 

Then they came to the place where this white hare used to lie, 
They uncoupled the beagles and began for to try, 
They uncoupled the beagles and beat the bushes round, 
But never was a white hare in that field to be found. 

It's Jemmy the huntsman, and Tom the whipper-in. 
Go look in yonder fern-side and see if she be in. 
With that she took a jump boys and off she ran. 
It's yonder she is going, don't you see her gentlemen .'* 

The footmen did run and the horsemen did ride. 
Such hallowing and shouting on every side. 
Such hallowing and shouting I never knew, 
As though she'd been running all the time through. 

The horsemen and footmen they all drew nigh. 
Thinking that this white hare was going to die. 
She slipt out of the holly bush, she thought to run away, 
But cruel and careless which caused her to stay. 

Twas twenty good beagles that caused her to die. 
There was not one amongst them above a foot high. 
The number of dogs there's not to be found, 
Nor ever better hunting upon the English ground. 



Ballad. 



The Hunting Song 



The Sun from the East tips the Mountains with Gold, 
And the Meadows all spangled with Dew-drops, behold 
How the Lark's early Matin proclaims the new Day, 
And the Horn's chearfiil Summons rebukes our Delay ; 
With the Sports of the Field there's no pleasure can vie, 
While Jocund we follow, follow, follow, follow, 
Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, 
Follow, follow, follow, the Hounds in full Cry. 

M 2 



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i64 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Let the Drudge of the Town make Riches his Sport, 
And the Slave of the State hunt the Smiles of the Court, 
Nor care or Ambition nor patience annoy, 
But Innocence still gives Zest to our joy. 
With the Sports of the Field, &c. 

Mankind all are Hunters in various Degree, 
The Priest hunts a Living, the Lawyer a Fee ; 
The Doctor a Patient, the Courier a place. 
They often like us are flung out with Disgrace. 
With the Sports of the Field, &c. 

The Cit hunts a Plum : the Soldier hunts Fame, 
The Poet a Dinner, the Patriot a Name, 
And the artful Coquette, tho she seems to refuse, 
Yet in Spite of her Airs she her Lover pursues. 
With the Sports of the Field, &c. 

Let the Bold and the Busy, hunt Glory and Wealth, 
All the Blessing we ask is the Blessing of Health ; 
With Hounds and with Horns thro' the Woodlands to roam. 
And tired Abroad find Contentment at Home. 
With the Sports of the Field there's no Pleasure can vie. 
While jocund we follow, follow, follow, follow. 
Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, 
Follow, follow, follow, the Hounds in full Cry. 

Sioeet Pollys Garland, 

Princely Diversion, or the Jovial 
Hunting Match 

One Valentine's Day in the Morning, 

Bright Phoebus began to appear. 

Sir Wm Cook winding his Horn 

And was going a hunting the hare. 

Says Handford uncouple our Beagles^ 

And let them go questing along 

For loose her or win her, we must go to dinner 

Or else they will think me long, 

Says Handford i pray now forbare si(r) 
And talk not of Dinn(e)r s(o) soon, 
For i've not been a hunting this Year 
And how can you give over by Noon. 
Black Sloven shall warm your bay Robin 
And make him go Smoacking along, 
Bonny Dick shall not gallop so quick 
If we light on a Hare that is strong, 



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HUNTING 165 

Well Handford said the good Esquire, 
I mean to show you a trick 
I value not hedges nor Ditches 
But i'll let you know bonny Dick 
Then hie for the Closom- Bow- Fields 
We shall get her Ten thousand to one, 
There's Wonder, lays hard upon Thunder 
Away, o'er away she is gone. 

The Morning was pleasant all over 
So bright and so clear was the Sky 
We made all the Woods for to roar, 
With the Noise of our sweet harmony 
It was for the space of three Hours 
We held all our Horses to speed 
Black sloven held hard to bay Robin 
But Yet could not do the deed, 

It was about Nine in the morning 
We sounded our first passing Bell, 
Sir William pray put up your horn 
For another Fresh Hare will do wel 
Well Handford said the good Esquire 
What think you of my bonny Dick 
doe's think thou can make him to tire 
or not for to Gallop so quick, 

Faith Master I needs must Confess, 

That i fear i was boasting to soon 

But hie for another fresh Hare 

And your Dick should have dinn'd by noon 

Well Handford have at your black sloven 

I'll make hnn in Purple to Ride 

And if he does offer to tire 

I'll certainly Liquor your hide 

You serve him righ(t) well says Jack Wilson 
for he has [been] taunting at me 
i never was beat in the fi(e)ld 
so for a fresh Hare let us see 
for here is some Closes of Com 
see we(l)l at your place e'ery one 
Then Master pray pull out your horn, 
for away, o'er away, she is gone 

Young B(l)ue b(e)ll he cr/d is before 
And she cr/d it all over the Lane 
And after her 12 Couple more 
thus they rattl(e)d it over the Plain 
Bonny Dick pla/d with his Bridle, 
and went at a desperate rate 

Come Handford take you you're idle 

Must i open [for] you the Gate ^ j 

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i66 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

O, your humble Servant good Master, 
But I will not die in your debt 
You shall find black sloven go faster 
for now he begins for to sweet 
Theres Wonder and thunder and dido 
And merry-lass sweetly runs on, 
There's Younger old Ranter Trantaive 
But Beauty she leads the vain : 

She headed them stoutly and bravely : 
Just up into SuttoHs close field, 
Black sloven began to grow heavy 
And made a fair offer to yield 
/ack Wilson came swinging before 
so well did bay Robin maintain, 
And after him bonny Dick scour'd 
black sloven was spur'd in vain 

but had the Luck and good chance, 
for to go now and then by the string 
she led us a delicate dance, 
but as we came by the Last ring. 
A fresh Hare duce take her was started 
We ne'er was so vexed before 
And e'ey we could make 'Em forsake her 
We run her two Miles or more 

And then we left Sir William Cooke 
for to Ponder upon the old hare 
Who presently lept o'er a brook. 
And a desperate leap i declare 
he had not got past a mile 
the Cunning old Gipsy he sp/d 
Was making back to her old sile, 
then away, o'er away he cry'd. 

Away o'er away my brave boys 
and merrily winded his horn 
o(u)r beagles all tos'd up their heads 
and they soon made a speedy return 
and drawing just up to the point. 
Where this Cunning young Gipsy had r(un ?) 
You never saw better Dogs hunt 
For life underneath the Sun. 

Now there was Tantive and Ranter 
They sounded their last passing bell 
And Wilson made moan unto Handford 
A Cup of Old-Hock will do well 
And Handford cry'd Master ride faster 
For now i begin to grow cool 
With Swet all my cloaths are as wet 
As if i had been in some Pool ^ , 

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HUNTING 167 

Were not those 2 dainty fine Pusses 

They held us from 7 to one 

We scour'd thro' Hedges and Bushes 

So merrily we run on 

And as for the praise of these Hounds 

And horses too that Gallop so free 

My Pen would not bring it to sound, 

If time would allow it to be 

Now Gallants i bid you farewell 
For i fear your Patience i've tr/d 
And hie for a Glass of good Ale, 
That Peotry may be admired 
And here's a good health to the Sportman 
That hunts with the horn and the hound 
I hope you'l all pledge for the future, 
And so let this health go round. 

Roxburghe Ballads. 

[Note by J. W. Ebnoorth. — Date of W. Olney's issue 1702 at latest. 
This is a Derbyshire Ditty, known as 'The Trusley Hunting-Song, and 
accredited to Tom Handford, the poet-blacksmith of Tnisley, seven miles 
from Derby, an occasional whipper-in to Squire C'oke (here called Cooke), who 
died in 1716, the last William Coke of Trusley. He had Tom's portrait 
painted and hung up in the Servants' Hall at Trusley, with this inscription : 
• This is Tom Handford, — Don't you know it ? He was both Blacksmith and 
Po<*t.' 



The Death of the Stag 

The op'ning mom dispels the night. 

Her beauties to display. 
The sun breaks forth in glory bright, 

And hails the new-bom day : 
Diana like, behold me then 

The silver arrow wield, 
And call on horses, dogs, and men. 

Arise and take the field. 
With a hey ho chivy, 
Hark forward tantivy ! 
Arise, bold hunters, cheerly rise, 
This day a stag must die. 

O'er mountains, vallies, hills, and dales, 

The fleet-foot coursers fly. 
Nor heed whate'er the sport assails 

Resolved a stag shall die I 
Roads, trees, and hedges, seem to move> 



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i68 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Such joys does hunting yield ; 
While health a handmaid deigns to prove, 
When huntsmen take the field. 
With a hey ho chivy, &c. 

Thus virgins are by man pursued. 

And beauty made his aim. 
Till by his wily craft subdued, 

He hunts for other game ; 




And since e'en life is but a race. 
We run till forced to yield ; 

Yo, ho, tantivy, join the chase, 
Arise and take the field, 

With a hey ho chivy, &c. 



Ballad, 



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HUNTING 169 



Air 

Diana. With Horns and with Hounds, I waken the Day ; 
And hye to my Woodland- Walks away ; 
I tuck up my Robe, and am buskin'd soon, 
And tie to my Forehead a wexing Moon. 
I course the fleet Stag, unkennel the Fox, 
And chace the wild Goats o'er Summits of Rocks, 
With shouting and hooting we pierce thro' the Sky, 
And Eccho turns Hunter, and doubles the Cr>\ 

Cho. With shouting and hooting we pierce ihrd the Sky^ 
And Eccho turns Hunter^ and doubles the Cry. 

The Secular Masque, JOHN DRY DEN, 1749. 

A Hunting Song 

With early horn salute the morn. 

That gilds this charming place ; 
With cheerful cries bid echo rise 
And join the jovial chase. 
The vocal hills around. 
The waving woods, 
The chrystal floods. 
Return the enliv'ning sound. 

Jolly Huntsman 

A NEW SONG 

The hounds are all out, 
And the morning does peep, 
How caa you, you sluggardly sot, 
How can you, how can you. 
Lie snoring in bed, 
Whilst we all on horseback have got. 
My brave boys, 
Whilst we, &c. 

I cannot get up. 
For my over night's cup, 
So terribly it lies on my head ; 
Besides my wife cries. 
My dear do not rise. 
But stay a bit longer in bed. 
My dear boys. 
But stay a bit, &c. 



Ballad, 



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I70 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Come on with your boots, 
' And saddle your mare, 
Don't make any longer delay, 
The cry of the hounds, 
And the sight of the hare, 
Will chace all your vapours away. 
My brave [boys] 
Will chace, &c. 




Hark ! hark ! how the huntsman 
Has started poor puss. 
He has her now still in his view ; 
We'll never forsake her, 
Till we overtake her. 
So m(e;rrily let us pursue. 

My brave boys, 
So merrily, &c. 
No pleasure's like hunting 
To pass the long day. 
We scour the hill and the dale ; 
At night for our supper 
We feast on our prey, 
W^hen over a cup of good ale, 
My brave boys. 
When over, &c. 

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HUNTING 



171 



Poor Old Horse 

When I wks a y6ung horse 

All in my youthful prime, 
My master used to ride on me, 

He thoiight me very fine. 
But now I am grown old, 

And nature does decky 
My master frowns upon me, 

And these words I heard him say, 
Poor old horse, poor old horse. 




Poor old horse.! ' These words I heard him say 

My clothing that was once, 

Of the shining superfine, 
Then I stood in my stable, 

And dfd in my glory shine. 
But now I am grown old. 

And nature does decay, 
My master frowns upon me, 

And these words I heard him say, 
Poor 61d horse, poor old horse. 



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172 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

My feeding it was once, 

Of the best corn and hay, 
That grew in the fields, 

And in the meadows gay ; 
But now I am grown old, 

And scarcely can I crawl, 
Tm forced to eat the coarsest grass, 

That grows against the wall 
Poor old h6rse, poor old horse. 

He is old, and he is cold. 

And is both dull and slow, 
He has eat up all my hay. 

And spoiled all my straw. 
Nor either is he fit at all, 

To draw with my team. 
Take him and whip him, 

Is now my master's theme 
Poor old horse, poor old horse ; 

To the huntsman now he shall go, 

His old hide and shoes, 
Likewise his tender carcass, 

The hounds will not refuse. 
His body that so swiftly. 

Has run so many miles. 
Over hedges, ditches, brooks. 

And cleared bridges, gates, & styles. 
Poor old horse, poor old horse. 

Ballad. 



Hunting Song^ 



Come listen all you sportsmen gay, who love to run a hare, sirs, 

A story of a course I'll tell, whose truth 1 do declare, sirs : 

'Tis of a famous stout game hare, which lay near Lonsbro' town, 

sirs. 
Who beating every greyhound there, had challenged great renown, 

sirs. 

1 This song is of very ancient dale ; the author of it was said to be a 
Mr. Perry, the clergyman of Nunburnholme, a village in the East Riding 
of Yorkshire, who, resembling many clergymen of the present day, was, 
no doubt, a good sportsman, a good parson, and a very good fellow s^ter alL 
The town of Lonsborough, a seat of the Duke of Devonshire, was always 
celebrated for stout running hares. 



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HUNTING 



173 



At length the squire of Methills-hall^ heard of this hare by hap, 

sirs, 
And swore to all his company, he'd single run Blue Cap^ sirs ; 
At which they laughed, and jeering said, ' He never would come 

nigh her.' 
' My friends ! ' cried he, * whatever my chance, I am resolved to try 

her.' 




The clerg>'man he gave the toast 

So off they rode, a gallant band, to seek this famous hare, sirs. 
Who often in a stone-pit lay, and sure they found her there, sirs — 
So up she got ! and off they went, quite o'er the dale so clever. 
And brave Squire Hewitt cried aloud, * My Blue Cap, now or 
never ! ' 

And when they got upon plain ground, swift Blue Cap tum'd her 

there, sirs. 
But still the company would bet five guineas on the hare, sirs : 
Across the dale she took once more, which made their horses 

whinney, 
Yet Hewitt still undaunted cried, * My Blue Cap for a guinea ! ' 



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174 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

For shelter then to Warier Wood^ swift flew this gallant hare, 

sirs, 
But Blue Cap press'd her skut so close, she durst not enter there, 

sirs — 
Then off she went for Methills-kall, which was a gallant round, 

sirs, 
When Blue Cap took this famous hare, and on his master's ground, 

sirs. 

And now this band returning home, in spirits and full force, sirs, 
O'er good roast beef and .bowls of punch, again they ran the 

course, sirs. 
The Clergyman he gave the toiist, which some thought mighty 

clever ; 
It was, * The Squire of Methtlls-hall, and brave Blue Cap for ever J 

Sporting Magazine, August 1815. 



The Galway Sportsman 

You county Galway men, Hibernia's noble kin, 
The muses now begin to ornament your fame, 
Ten thousand echoes rise, to crown your native skies. 
The gods themselves supplies the tenor of your theme ; 
The rosy finger mom, salutes the sounding horn. 
Rush from shades of sleep, and lurk not in disguise, 
Let morpheus not delight you, better sports invite you, 
Pleasures shall requite you, rise, you blazers, rise. 

Now hark the morning breeze, salutes the slumbering trees. 
The ant and humming-bee their labour does begin, 
The lark aloft do wing, and cheerfully do sing,- 
To praise our po(c)t and king, while sluggards sleep in sin, 
The shepherd's lute distil, its dawning can to fill, 
The stag ascends the hill, and reynard brush the dew. 
Poor puss with terror flies, her footsteps to disguise, 
Arise, you blazers, rise, and take the morning view. 

Your downy pillow leave, mount like Act(ae)on brave, 
Whose prancing steed would leave the fleeting winds behind, 
Face through the flowery fie(l)ds, where sweet fragrance do yield. 
Then haste to Bally-tum and there you will him find ; 
Where all the gods reside, where lakes and woods deride, 
With cover well supplied to shelter all the game, 
Selins and his ass, push round the sparkling glass. 
No landscape can surpass young Keere van's demain. 



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HUNTING 175 

Our plains are overspread with heroes dressed in red, 
And hunters better bred, than England can support, 
The hounds are in full cry, and reynard seems to fly, 
Its fortune sent him nigh, to ornament our sport, 
The hills and dales resound with entertaining sound, 
No precipice or bound can waft his swift career, 
The land he does forsake, and swim across the lake, 
But to his great mistake the blazers still keep near. 

But when he reached the shore, ten thousand shouts and more. 

With acclamations bore the date of his downfall, 

On Bally-tum hill he freely made his will. 

With cunning art and skill to compliment them all. 

No time being left to rave, he died a victim brave, 

His enemies forgave, and bid his friends farewell. 

The night will chase away the hardships of the day. 

And what he wished to say some future age can tell. 

Those blazers we can trace from great miletian race. 

Whose birth without disgrace our poet can extol, 

Great Burks, and Blakes you know, and Keerevans also. 

And peers of Roxborough, where peers do often call. 

There's Yelverteres and Bradys, Dillons, Doreys, Daleys, 

Butlers, Lamberts, Healys, Donnelys likewise, 

There's Nugents, Kellys, Frenches, Rath, Burns, and Trenches, 

Hamiltonis and Lynches, all where reynard died. 

Our county Galway joys is the prize of Castle boys. 
Who ornament the cry on each St. Patrick's day. 
Whose fox-hounds ne'er did fail to snuff the morning gale. 
And truly brush the vale, and that without delay ; 
His steed beyond compare, was never in the rear. 
Both whip and spur can spare while reynard is in view. 
So here's to all our friends, the blazers' praise we'll sing, 
While time is on the wing, its pleasures we'll pursue. 

Old Irish Hallad. 

Song 

Hark ! hark ! the joy-inspiring horn. 
Salutes the rosy rising morn. 

And echoes thro' the dale ; 
With clam'rous peals the hills resound. 
The hounds quick-scented scow'r the ground, 

.And snuff the fragrant gale. 

Nor gales * nor sledges ^ can impede 
The brisk, high mettl'd, starting steed, 
The jovial pack pursue ; 



? gates. 2 ? hedges. 



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176 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Like light'ning darting o'er the plains, 
The distant hills with speed he gains. 
And sees the game in view. 

Her path the timid hare forsakes, 
And to the copse for shelter makes, 

There pants awhile for breath ; 
When now the noise alarms her ear. 
Her haunt's descry'd, her fate is near, 

She sees approaching death. 

Directed by the well known breeze. 
The hounds their trembhng victim seize, 

She faints, she falls, she dies ; 
The distant coursers now come in, 
And join the loud triumphant din, 

Till echo rends the skies. 



The Masque, 1768. 



Tally Ho ! Hark Away 

It was on the first of March, in the year of thirty-three, 
There was fun .ind recreation, in our own country. 
The King's County sportsmen o'er hills, dales, and rocks. 
Most nobly set out in the search of a fox. 

CHORUS 
Tally ho ! hark away— tally ho, hark away. 
Tally ho I hark away, my boys away, — hark away. 

When they started poor Reynard he fac'd to Tullamore, 
Through Wicklow and Arklow, along the sea shore. 
They kept him in view the whole length of the way. 
And closely pursued him through the streets of Roscrea. 

When Reynard was started he fac'd down the hollow. 
Where none but the huntsmen and hounds they could follow. 
The gentlemen cried watch him saying what shall we do here, 
If the hills and dales don't stop them he will cross to Kildare. 

There were 120 sportsmen went down to Ballyland, 
From that to Blyboyne and Ballycuminsland, 
But Reynard, sly Reynard arrived on that night, 
And said they would watch him until the daylight. 

It was early next morning the hills they did appear, 

With the echoes of the horn and the cry of the hounds. 

But in spite of his action his craft and his skill. 

He was taken by young Donohoe going down Moranze (Hill). 



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HUNTING 177 

When Reynard was taken his losses to fulfill, 
He called for pen, ink and paper to write his last will. 
And what he made mention of you'll find it is no blank, 
For he gave them a check on the national bank. 

Here is to you Mr. Jackson, of Curragh, more estate, 
And to you Sir John Power, my whip, spurs, and cap. 
Who crossed walls and ditches and ne'er looked for a gap. 
And to you Mr. Gambler, my money and my plate. 

Ulster BaUad, 

The Killruddery Fox Chace^ 

Hark, hark, jolly sportsmen, awhile to my tale, 
Which to pay your attention, I'm sure cannot fail, 
'Tis of lads, and of horses, and dogs that ne'er tire. 
O'er stone walls and hedges, thro' dale, bog and briar, 
A pack of such hounds, and a set of such men, 
*Tis a shrewd chance if ever you meet with again ; 
Had Nimrod the mighti'st of hunter's been there, 
Foregad he had shook like an aspen for fear. 

In seventeen hundred and forty and four. 
The fifth of December, I think 'twas no more, 
At five in the morning by most of the clocks, 
We rode from Killruddery in search of a fox. 
The Laughlinstown landlord, the bold Owen Bray 
And Johnny Adair, too, was with us that day, 
Joe Debill, Hall Preston, that huntsman so stout, 
Dick Holmes, a few others, and so we set out. 

We cast off our hounds for an hour or more, 

When Wanton set up a most tunable roar ; 

* Hark to Wanton,' cried Joe, and the rest were not slack, 

For Wanton's no trifle, esteem'd in the pack. 

Old Bonny and Collier came readily in. 

And ev'ry hound join'd in the musical din ; 

Had Diana been there, she'd been pleas'd to the life, 

And one of the lads got a goddess to wife. 

Ten minutes past nine was the time of the day. 
When Reynard broke cover, and this was his* way ; 
As strong from Killeager, as tho' he could fear none, 
Away he brush'd round by the house of Kilteman, 

* Thisalsooccurs in acollection of songs called T"-**? J/oj^w^ (London, 1768), 
and is headed ' A favorite Song. The celebrated Fox Chace, from Kille^rar 
through Killteman, Carrickraines, and other towns in the county of Dublin ; 
on December 5, 1744. To the tunc of Sheelane Gira.' 



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178 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

To Carrick-mines thence, and to Cherry-wood then, 
Steep Shank-hill he climb'd, and to Ballymanglen, 
Bray Common he cross'd, leap'd Lord Anglesey's wall. 
And seem'd to say, ' little I value you all.' 

He ran Bush's grove, up to Carbery Byrn's, 
Joe Debill, Hall Preston, kept leading by turns ; 
The earth it was open yet he was so stout, 
Tho' he might have got in, yet he chose to stay out, 
To Malpas' high hills was the way then he flew, 
At Dalkey stone common we had him in view ; 
He drove on by Bullock, thro' shrub Glenagary, 
And so on to Mountown, where Laury grew weary. 

Through Roche's-town wood like an arrow he pass'd. 
And came to the steep hills of Dalkey at last ; 
There gallantly plung'd himself into the sea, 
And said in his heart, * sure none dare follow me.' 
But soon to his cost, he perceiv'd that no bounds, 
Could stop the pursuit of the staunch mettl'd hounds ; 
His policy here did not ser\'e him a rush. 
Five couple of tartars were hard at his brush. 

To recover the shore then again was his drift, 

But e'er he could reach to the top of the clift. 

He found both of speed and of cunning a lack, 

Being way-laid, and kill'd by the rest of the pack. 

At his death there were present the lads that I've sung, 

Save Laury, who, riding a garron, was flung ; 

Thus ended, at length, a most delicate chace. 

That held us five hours and ten minutes space. 

We retum'd to Killruddery's plentiful board. 
Where dwells hospitality, truth, and my lord ; 
We talk'd o'er the chace, and we toasted the health 
Of the man that ne'er vary'd for places or wealth. 

* Owen Bray baulk'd a leap,' says Hall Preston, * 'twas odd, 

* 'Twas shameful,' cried Jack, * by the great living . . . .' 
Said Preston, * I holloo'd, get on tho' you fall, 

Or ril leap over you, your blind gelding and all.' 

Each glass was adapted to freedom and sport. 
For party afliairs were consign'd to the court ; 
Thus we finished the rest of the day and the night. 
In gay flowing bumpers, and social delight, 
Then 'till the next meeting bid farewell each brother. 
So some they went one way, and some went another ; 
As Phoebus befriended our earlier roam, 
So Luna took care in conducting us home. 

Ballad. 



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HUNTING \n 

Hunting Song 

I 

Hehold, my friend ! the rosy-finger'd morn 

With blushes on her face, 

Peeps o'er yon azure hill ; 

Rich gems the trees enchase, 

Pearls from each bush distill, 
Arise, arise, and hail the light new-bom. 

II 
Hark ! hark ! the merry horn calls, come away : 

Quit, quit thy downy bed ; 

Break from Amyntiis arms ; 

Oh ! let it ne'er be said, 

That all, that all her charms, 
Tho she's as Venus fair, can tempt thy stay. 

Ill 
Perplex thy soul no more with cares below, 

For what will pelf avail ? 

Thy courser paws the ground, 

Each beagle cocks his tail, 

They spend their mouths around 
While health, and pleasure, smiles on ev'ry brow. 

IV 

Try huntsmen all the brakes, spread all the plain, 

Now, now, she's gone away. 

Strip, strip, with speed pursue ; 

The jocund God of day 

Who fain our sport wou'd view, 
See, see, he flogs his fiery steeds in vain. 



Pour down, like a flood from the hills, brave boys, 

On the wings of the wind 

The merry beagles fly ; 

Dull sorrow lags behind : 

Ye shrill ecchoes reply. 
Catch each flying sound, and double our joys. 

VI 

Ye rocks, woods, and caves our music repeat. 

The bright spheres thus above, 

A gay refulgent train 

Harmoniously move, 

O'er yon celestial plain 
Like us, whirl along, in concert so sweet. 



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i8o THE POETRY OF SPORT 

VII 
Now Puss threads the brakes, and heavily flies, 

At the head of the pack 

Old Fidler bears the bell, 

Ev'ry foyl he hunts back, 

And aloud rings her knell. 
Till forc'd into view, she pants, and she dies. 

VIII 

In hfe's dull round thus we toil, and we sweat ; 

Diseases, grief, and pain. 

An implacable crew. 

While we double in vain, 

Unrelenting pursue, 
Till quite hunted down, we yield with regret. 

IX 

This moment is ours, come live while ye may, 

What's decreed by dark fate, 

Is not in our own pow'r, 

Since to-morrow's too late. 

Take the present kind hour ; 
With wine chear the night, as sports bless the day. 

Poetical Works. Wm. 5jOMERVIle, 1766, 



My Heart's in the Highlands 

Tune : ' Failte na miofg ' 

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here ; 
My heart's in the Highlands a chasing the deer ; 
A chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, 
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go. 
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, 
The birth place of Valour, the country of Worth, 
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove. 
The bills of the Highlands for ever I love. 

Farewell to the mountains high cover'd with snow ; 
Farewell to the straths and green vallies below : 
Farewell to the forests and wild hanging woods ; 
Farewell to the torrents and loud pouring floods. 
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here. 
My heart's in the Highlands a chasing the deer : 
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe ; 
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go. 

By R. Burns. J. Johnson, The Scots Musical Museum, 



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HUNTING i8i 



A New Hunting Song, Made on 
a Fox Chase 

Come all you Foxhunters wherever you be, 
Repair to the Leven if Sportsmen you'd see 
Such hounds and such horses of mettle and game ; 
As are worthy to be recorded in Fame. 

SififT BcUlinamona oro. Ballinctmona oro. 

BoUlinamona oro, the Jjods of Old Cleveland for me* 

Dexter and Delver and Dido for speed, 

All sprung from the Race of Charles Turner's fam'd breed, 

A sportsman so rare, and the first in renown, 

As witness the match over Feldom he won. 

Rover and Rally and Minor likewise. 
Old Spanker, so fierce the thick Cover he tries. 
Matcham and Merry lass Reynard's sworn foe ; 
He must be unkenneld, hark ! I hear Tally O. 

Now my Lads spur your Horses and smoke 'em away. 
Jolly Bacchus and Sampson will shew you some play, 
Squire Hall, on his Wakefield that pampered Nag, 
Comes Neck over heels, and yet of him will brag. 

Burdon, so proud of his high mettled Steeds, 
And the Annals of fame record their great deeds, . 
Yet in hunting he's bet sore against his desire. 
He sticks in the dirt and he's pass'd by the Squire. 

George Baker, on Blacklegs how determined his looks, 
He defies the whole field over hedge, ditch, or brooks, 
He keeps him quite tight and he only desires, 
A three hours chase I'll be d if he tires. 

See thumping along goes jolly old Walker, 
Whilst close at his heels lay the Gisborough Prior, 
With Powder and sweat, Lord ! how awfull he looks, 
D you Matt did you mind how I leap'd yonder brook. 

Watson, so fierce how he rides and so keen, 
He thinks he's well mounted and sure to be in, 
But if he keep running at this gallant pace, 
'Tis twenty to one, he's thrown out in the Chase. 

The first in the burst was Scroop on old Match'em, 
Straining hard to get in Tom swore he would catch 'em 
Whilst screwing along see Smith only mind him, 
He's top'd the barr'd Gate leaving numbers behind him. 



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1 82 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Yonder goes Stockdale so tight and so trim 
How he strokes down his mare which he fancies so sHm, 
He nicks in and out 'till he's starv'd with the cold, 
(}o bid him but thirty and then he'll ride bold. 

Preston, so brave with his heart full of glee, 
On his Gaylass well mounted as he'd wish to be, 
He swears that he'll ride 'till he dies in the field, 
As a true honest Sportsman he never will yield. 

Coates, on his Tyrant he creeps like a snail, 
He puffs and he blows, and how he rolls his Tail ; 
Yet a Sportsman so bold he attempts at a flyer, 
Old Tyrant leaps short and he's down in the mire. 








\^-t^^ 




He sticks in the dirt, and he's pass'd by the Squire 

The Baronet cautious is pass'd by his Brother, 

As like you woul'd swear as one Egg's like another. 

When fully intending to lead the whole field 

A d Stell ' held 'em both 'till the Fox he was kill'd. 

The Doctor, you scarcely know where you have him, 

For sometimes he's dodging and sometimes he's dashing, 

But yet to the Chase will he eagerly rush 

And lose a good Patient for bold Reynard's brush. 

Rowntree, a noted old Sportsman as good 

Who brags of his (^reytail that choise bit of Blood, 

How at Stockesly so clever she won e'ery Race, 

And how that she's equally fam'd for the Chace. 



a broad open drain. 



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HUNTING 183 

Flounders, the younger with Eyelids by Glass, 
So prim on his Stallion and fond of his slash, 
One single good run finished off the gay Quaker, 
And now he's gone dumb with intent to turn speaker. 

Now our spout being over let's home without fail, 
And drown those misfortunes in Punch and good Ale ; 
And if we're thrown out we'll draw close to the fire 
And drink a good health to the Baronet and Squire. 

Roxbvrghe Ballads. Date, circ& 1783, 



A New Fox-hunting Song 

Composed by W. S. Kenrick and J. Burtell 

The Chace run by the Cleveland Fox Hounds on Saturday the 
2^th Day of January^ 1785 

Ye hardy sons of Chace give ear, 

All listen to my Song ; 
'Tis of a Hunt perform'd this Year, 

That will be talk'd of long. 
When a hunting we do go, oho, oho, oho, 
And a hunting we will go, oho, oho, oho. 
And a hunting we will go, oho, oho, oho. 

With the Huntsman Tally, ho. 

On Weary Bank ye know the same, 

Unkenell'd was the Fox ; 
Who led us, and our Hounds of F'ame, 

O'er Mountains, Moors and Rocks. 
When a Hunting we do go, &c. 

'Twas Crayihorn first swift Reynard made, 

To IJmton then did fly : 
Full speed pursu'd each hearty blade, 

And join'd in jovial cry, 

With the Huntsman Tally ho. 

To Worsal next he took his flight, 

Escape us he wou'd fain ; 
To Picton next with all his might. 

To Cray thorn back again, 

With the Huntsman Tally ho. 

» Rev. J. W. Ebsvvorth's Note. — Thomas Cole, Huntsman ; Rev. George 
Davison ; Christopher Rowntree, Jun. ; William Stockdale. From Cray- 
thome and Worsal (near Yarm), by Nunthorp, Rosberry, and Kildale to 
Hinderwell sea-cliff was a terrific run. Noble fox ! 



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i84 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

To Weary Bank then takes his course, 

Thro' Fanny BelPs gill flies ; 
In Seymour Car strains all his force, 

His utmost vigour tries, 

With the Huntsman Tally ho. 

To Tanton^ Nunthorp^ next he flies. 

O'er Langbrou^k Rig goes he ; 
He scours like Light'ning o'er the meads, 

More swift Fox could not be, 

Nor with a Huntsman better match'd, &c. 

To Newton, then to Roseberry, 

To Mutton Lockerass gill ; 
To Lownsdale, o'er Court Moor go we, 

From thence to Kildale Mill^ 

With the Huntsman Tally ho, &c. 

By this our zeal was not subdu'd. 

All crosses were in vain ; 
To Kildale Reynard we pursu'd, 

To Lownsdale back again, 

With the Huntsman Tally ho, &c. 

By Percy Cross and Sleddale too, 

And /'/V/y/?/;^ full fast. 
As Fox could run to Skylderskew, 

And Lockwood Reck he past, 

With the Huntsman Tally ho, &c. 

By Freebrough Hill he takes his way. 

By Danby I^dge also ; 
With ardour we pursue our prey, 

As swift as Hounds could go, 

With the Huntsman Tally ho, &c. 

By Coal Pits and o'er Stonegate Moor^ 

To Scayling Reynard ran ; 
Was such a Fox e'er seen before ? 

His equal shew who can ! 

When a Hunting we do go, &c. 

To Barnby now by Ugthorp Mill, 

And Mickleby likewise ; 
To Ellerby, to Hinderwell, 

Still stubborn Reynard flies, 

With the Huntsman Tally ho, &c. 
The Huntsman now with other three. 

And Reynard you'll suppose ; 
Ten couple of Hounds of high degree. 

One field now did inclose. 

With the Huntsman Tally ho, &c. 



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HUNTING 185 

But now our Chase draws near an end, 

No longer we'll intrude ; 
For on the Cliff, rejoice my Friend, 

Swift Reynard there we view'd, 

With the Huntsman Tally ho, &c. 

Sure such a chase must wonder raise. 

And had I time to sing. 
The Huntsman's deeds who merits praise. 

Would make the Vallies ring. 

When a Hunting we did go, &c. 

Come sportsmen all your Glasses fill, 

And let the toast go round ; 
May each Foxhunter flourish still, 
In Health and Strength abound, 
When a Hunting we did go, &c. 

Roxburgfie Ballads. 

Goddess of the Chace 

Give round the word — * Dismount I dismount I ' 

While echo'd by the sprightly horn. 
The toils and pleasures we recount 
Of this sweet health-inspiring mom. 

'Twas glorious sport ! none e'er did lag. 
Nor drew amiss, nor made a stand ; 
But all as firmly kept their pace 
As had Acteon been the stag. 
And we hunted by command 
Of the goddess of the chace. 

The hounds were all out, and snuff'd the air, 
And scarce had reach'd th' appointed spot, 

But pleased, they plainly heard a lair ! 
And presently drew on the slot. 
'Twas glorious sport, &c. 

And now o'er yonder plain he fleets I 
The deep-mouth'd hounds begin to bawl. 

And echo note for note repeats. 
While sprightly horns resound a call. 
'Twas glorious sport, &c. 

And now the stag has lost his pace ; 

And while ' War-haunch ! ' the huntsman cries. 
His bosom swells, tears wet his face ; 
He pants, he struggles, and he dies I 
'Twas glorious sport, &c. 

Thf Comic Son tester, 1783. 



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1 86 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The Chase ^ 

I 

Earl Walter winds his bugle horn ; 

To horse, to horse, halloo, halloo ! 
His fiery courser snuffs the morn, 

And thronging serfs their Lord pursue, 

II 
The eager pack, from couples freed, 

Dash through the bush, the brier, the brake ; 
While answering hound, and horn, and steed. 

The mountain echoes startling wake. 

Ill 
The beams of God's own hallo w'd day 

Had painted yonder spire with gold, 
And, calling sinful man to pray. 

Loud, long, and deep the bell had toll'd. 

IV 

But still Earl Walter onward rides ; 

Halloo, halloo, and hark again ! 
When, spurring from opposing sides, 

Two stranger horsemen join the train. 

V 
Who was each stranger, left and right, 

Well may I guess, but dare not tell : 
The right-hand steed was silver white, 

The left, the swarthy hue of hell. 

VI 

The right-hand horseman, young and fair, 

His smile was like the morn of May ; 
The left, from eye of tawny glare. 

Shot midnight lightning's lurid ray. 

VII 

He wav'd his huntsman's cap on high, 
Cry'd, * Welcome, welcome, noble Lord ! 

* What sport can earth, or sea, or sky, 
' To match the princely chase, afford ? ' 

' The Wild Huntsman. — This is a translation, or Mther an imitation, of 
the Wilde Jcigcr of the German poet Burger. The tradition upon which it is 
founded bears, that formerly a Wildg^rave, or keeper of a royal forest, named 
Faulkenburg, was so much addicted to the pleasures of the chase, and other- 
wise so extremely profligate and cruel, that he not only followed this unhal- 
lowed amusement on the Sabbath, and other days consecrated to religious 
duty, but accompanied it with the most unheard-of oppression upon the poor 
peasants, who were under his vassalage. 



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HUNTING 187 



VllI 

* Cease thy loud bugle's clanging knell,' 

Cry 'd the fair youth, with silver voice ; 

* And for Devotion's choral swell 

* Exchange the rude discordant noise. 



IX 



* To-day th' ill-omen'd chase forbear ; 

* Yon bell yet summons to the fane : 
' To-day the warning spirit hear, 

* To-morrow thou may'st mourn in vain.' 



* Away, and sweep the glades along 1 ' 

The sable hunter hoarse replies ; 

* To muttering Monks leave matin song, 

' And bells, and books, and mysteries.' 

XI 

Earl Walter spurr'd his ardent steed. 
And, launching forward with a bound, 

* Who for thy drowsy priestlike rede 

* Would leave the jovial horn and hound ? 

XII 

* No : pious fool, I scorn thy lore ; 

* Let him who ne'er the chase durst prove 

* Go join with thee the droning choir, 

' And leave me to the sport I love.' 

XIII 

Fast, fast Earl Walter onward rides, 
O'er moss and moor, o'er holt and hill. 

And onward fast on either side 

The stranger horsemen follow'd still. 

XIV 

Up springs, from yonder tangled thorn, 

A stag more white than mountain snow ; 
And louder rung Earl Walter's horn, 

* Hark forward, forward, holla, ho ! ' 

XV 

A heedless wretch has cross'd the way, — 
He gasps the thundering hoofs below ; 

But, live who can, or die who may. 
Still forward, forward I On they go. 



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1 88 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



XVI 



See where yon simple fences meet, 

A field with Autumn's blessings crown'd 
See prostrate at Earl Walter's feet 
A husbandman with toil embrown'd. 



XVII 



* O mercy ! mercy I noble Lord ; 

' Spare the hard pittance of the poor, 
* Eam'd by the sweat these brows have pour'd 
* In scorching July's sultry hour.' 




XVIII 

Earnest the right-hand stranger pleads. 
The left still cheering to the prey : 

Th' impetuous Earl no warning heeds. 
But furious holds the onward way. 

XIX 

* Away, thou hound, so basely born, 

* Or dread the scourge's echoing blow ! ' 
Then loudly rung his bugle horn, 

* Hark forward, forward, holla, ho I ' 



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HUNTING 189 



XX 



So said, so done — a single bound 
Clears the poor labourer's humble pale : 

Wild follows man, and horse, and hound, 
Like dark December's stormy gale. 

XXI 

And man, and horse, and hound, and horn. 
Destructive sweep the field along, 

While joying o'er the wasted corn 

Fell Famine marks the madd'ning throng. 

XXII 

Again> up rous'd the tim'rous prey 

Scours moss and moor, and holt and hill ; 

Hard run, he feels his strength decay. 
And trusts for life his simple skill. 

XXIIl 

Too dangerous solitude appear'd ; 

He seeks the shelter of the crowd ; 
Amid the flock's domestic herd 

His harmless head he hopes to shroud. 

XXIV 

O'er moss and moor, and holt and hill, 
His track the steady blood-hounds trace ; 

O'er moss and moor, and holt and hill, 
Th' unweary'd Earl pursues the chase. 

XXV 

The anxious herdsman lowly falls : 

* O spare, thou noble Baron, spare 

* These herds, a widow's little all, 

* These flocks, an orphan's fleecy care.' 

XXVI 

Earnest the right-hand stranger pleads, 
The left still cheering to the prey ; 

Nor prayer nor pity Walter heeds. 
But furious keeps the onward way. 

XXVII 

* Unmanner'd dog ! To stop my sport 

* Vain were thy cant and beggar whine, 

* Though human spirits of thy sort 

* Were tenants of these carrion kine ! ' 



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I90 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



XXVIII 



Again he winds his bugle horn, 

* Hark forward, forward, holla, ho I ' 
And through the herd, in ruthless scorn. 
He cheers his furious hounds to go. 



XXIX 



1 1) heaps the throttled victims fall ; 

Down sinks their mangled herdsman near ; 
The murd'rous cries the stag appal, 

Again he starts, new-nerv'd by fear. 



XXX 



With blood besmear'd, and white with foam, 
While big the tears of anguish pour. 

He seeks, amid the forest's gloom, 
The humble hermit's hut obscure. 



XXXI 



But man and horse, and horn and hound, 
Fast rattling on his traces go ; 

The sacred chapel rung around 
With hark away, and holla, ho ! 



XXXII 



All mild, amid the route profane, 
The holy hermit pour'd his pray'r : 

* Forbear with blood God's house to stain, 
* Revere his altar, and forbear I 



XXXIII 



* The meanest brute has rights to plead, 

* Which, wrong'd by cruelty or pride. 
Draw vengeance on the ruthless head ; — 

* Be warn'd at length, and turn aside.' 



xxxiv 



Still the fair horseman anxious pleads, 

The black wild whooping points the prey ; 

Alas ! the Earl no warning heeds, 
But frantic keeps the forward way. 



XXXV 



* Holy or not, or right or wrong, 

* Thy altar and its rights 1 spurn ; 

* Not sainted martyrs' sacred song, 

* Not God himself shall make me turn/ 



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HUNTING 191 



XXXVI 
He spurs his horse, he winds his horn, 

* Hark forward, forward, holla, ho I ' 
But off, on whirlwind's pinions borne, 

The stag, the hut, the hemiit, go. 

XXXVII 

And horse and man, and horn and hound, 
And clamour of the chase was gone : 

For hoofs and howls, and bugle sound, 
A deadly silence reign*d alone. 

XXXVIII 

Wild gaz'd th' affrighted Earl around ; — 
He strove in vain to wake his horn, 

In vain to call ; for not a sound 
Could from his anxious lips be borne. 

XXXIX 

He listens for his trusty hounds ; 

No distant baying reach'd his ears ; 
His courser, rooted to the ground. 

The quick'ning spur unmindful bears. 



Still dark and darker round it spreads, 
Dark as the darkness of the grave ; 

And not a sound the still invades, 
Save what a distant torrent gave. 

XLl 

High o'er the sinner's humbled head 
At length the solemn silence broke ; 

And from a cloud of swarthy red. 
The awful voice of thunder spoke. 

XLII 

* Oppressor of creation fair I 

* Apostate spirits' harden'd tool ! 

* Scorner of God ! scourge of the poor ! 

* The measure of thy cup is full. 

XI.III 

* Go, hunt for ever through the wood, 

* For ever roam th' affrighted wild ; 

* And let thy fate instruct the proud . 

' God's meanest creature is his child.' 



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192 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



XLIV 



Twas hush'd : one flash of sombre glare 
With yellow ting'd the forests brown ; 
Up rose Earl Walter's bristling hair, 
And horror chill'd each nerve and bone. 

XLV 

Cold pour'd the sweat in freezing rill ; 

A rising wind began to sing ; 
And louder, louder, louder still, 

Brought storm and tempest on its wing. 

XLVI 

The earth is rock'd, it quakes, it rends ; 

From yawning rifts, with many a yell, 
Mix'd with sulphureous flames, ascend 

The misbegotten dogs of hell. 

XLVII 

What ghastly huntsman next arose, 
Well may I guess, but dare not tell : 

His eye like midnight lightning glows, 
His steed the swarthy hue of hell. 

XLVIII 

Earl Walter flies o'er bush and thorn. 
With many a shriek of helpless woe ; 

Behind him hound, and horse, and horn. 
And hark away, and holla, ho ! 

XLIX 

With wild despair's reverted eye, 

Close, close behind he marks the throng ; 

With bloody fangs, and eager cry, 
In frantic fear he scours along. 



Still shall the dreadful chase endure # 
Till time itself shall have an end ; 

By day earth's tortured womb they scour, 
At midnight's vvitching hour ascend. 

LI 

This is the horn, the hound, and horse. 
That oft the lated peasant hears : 

Appal'd he signs the frequent cross. 
When the wild din invades his ears. 



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HUNTING 



193 



LI I 

The wakeful priest oft drops a tear 

For human pride, for human woe, 
When at his midnight mass he hears 

Th' infernal cry of holla, ho ! 

The Chase, from the German of Gottfried Aucl'STUS BCrger 
[trans, by Walter Scott, Esq.], 1796. 



Hunting Song 



Waken, lords and ladies gay, 

On the mountain dawns the day, 

All the jolly chace is here. 

With hawk, and horse, and hunting spear ; 

Hounds are in their couples yelling, 

Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling, 

Merrily, merrily, mingle they, ' 

* Waken, lords and ladies gay.' 




Waken, lords and ladies gay, 
The mist has left the mountain gray, 
Springlets in the dawn are steaming. 
Diamonds on the brake are gleaming : 



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194 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

And foresters have busy been, 
To track the buck in thicket green ; 
Now we come to chaunt our lay, 
' Waken, lords and ladies gay.' 

Waken, lords and ladies gay, 
To the green-wood haste away ; 
We can shew you where he lies. 
Fleet of foot, and tall of size ; 
W^e can shew the marks he made. 
When 'gainst the oak his antlers fray'd ; 
You shall see him brought to bay, 
* Waken, lords and ladies gay.' 

Louder, louder chaunt the lay, 

Waken, lords and ladies gay ! 

Tell them youth, and mirth, and glee. 

Run a course as well as we ; 

Time, stem huntsman I who can baulk, 

Staunch as hound, and fleet as hawk ; 

Think of this, and rise with day, 

Gentle lords and ladies gay. 

The Poetical Works of Walter Scott, Esq., 1820. 



The Death of Keeldar 



up rose the sun, o'er moor and mead ; 
Up with the sun rose Percy Rede ; 
Brave Keeldar, from his couples freed, 

Career'd along the lea ; 
The Palfrey sprung with sprightly bound. 
As if to match the gamesome hound ; 
His horn the gallant huntsman wound : 

They were a jovial three I 

Man, hound, or horse, of higher fame, 
To wake the wild deer never came, 
Since Alnwick's Earl pursued the game 

On Cheviot's rueftil day ; 
Keeldar was matchless in his speed, 
Than Tarras, ne'er was stauncher steed, 
A peerless archer, Percy Rede : 

And right dear friends were they. 

> Percy or Percival Rede of Trochend, in Redesdale, Xorihunibcrland. 
is celebrated in tradition as a huntsman and a soldier. He was. upon two 
occasions, singularly unfortunate ; one**, when an arrow, which he had dis- 
charged at a deer, killed his celebrated dog Keeldar ; and again, when, 
being on a hunting party, he was betraved into the hands of a clan called 
Crossar, by whom he was murdered. Mr. Cooper's painting of the lirst of 
these incidents suggested the above stanzas. 



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HUNTING 

The chase engross'd their joys and woes, 
Together at the dawn they rose, 
Together shared the noon's repose. 

By fountain or by stream ; 
And oft, when evening skies wore red, 
The heather was their common bed, 
Where each, as wildering fancy led. 

Still hunted in his dream. 



195 




Now is the thrilling moment near. 
Of sylvan hope and sylvan fear. 
Yon thicket holds the harbour'd deer, 

The signs the hunters know ; — 
With eyes of flame, and quivering ears. 
The brake sagacious Keeldar nears ; 
The restless palfrey paws and rears ; 

The archer strings his bow. o^ , 

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196 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The game's afoot !— Halloo I Halloo ! 
Hunter, and horse, and hound pursue ; — 
But woe the shaft that erring flew — 

That e'er it left the string I 
And ill betide the faithless yew ! 
The stag bounds scatheless o'er the dew, 
And gallant Keeldar's life-blood true 

Has drench'd the grey-goose wing. 

The noble hound — he dies, he dies, 
Death, death has glazed his fixed eyes. 
Stiff on the bloody heath he lies, 

Without a groan or quiver. 
Now day may break and bugle sound, 
And whoop and hollow ring around, 
And o'er his couch the stag may bound, 

But Keeldar sleeps for ever. 

Dilated nostrils, staring eyes, 

Mark the poor palfrey's mute surprise. 

He knows not that his comrade dies. 

Nor what is death —but still 
His aspect hath expression drear 
Of grief and wonder, mix'd with fear. 
Like startled children when they hear 

Some mystic tale of ill. 

But he that bent the fatal bow. 
Can well the sum of evil know. 
And o'er his favourite, bending low, 

In speechless grief recline ; 
Can think he hears the senseless clay. 
In unreproachful accents say, 

* The hand that took my life away, 

Dear master, was it thine } ' 

* And if it be, the shaft be bless'd. 
Which sure some erring aim address'd. 
Since in ypur service prized, caress'd 

I in your service die ; 
And you may have a fleeter hound. 
To match the dun-deer's merry bound. 
But by your couch will ne'er be found 

So true a guard as I.' 

And to his last stout Percy rued 
The fatal chance, for when he stood 
'Gainst fearful odds in deadly feud, 
And fell amid the fray, 



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HUNTING 197 

E'en with his dying voice he cried, 
* Had Keeldar but been at my side, 
Your treacherous ambush had been spied^ 
I had not died to-day I ' 

Remembrance of the erring bow 

Long since had join'd the tides which flow, 

Conveying human bliss and woe 

Down dark oblivion's river ; 
But Art can Time's stern doom arrest, 
And snatch his spoil from Lethe's breast, 
And, in her Cooper's colours drest. 

The scene shall live for ever. 
■ The Poetical Works of Sir Waller Scott, Bart,, 1848. 



Song 



Huntsman, rest ! thy chase is done, 

While our slumbrous spells assail ye. 
Dream not with the rising sun, 

Bugles here shall sound reveillie. 
Sleep I the deer is in his den ; 

Sleep ! thy hounds are by thee lying ; 
Sleep ! nor dream in yonder glen, 

How thy gallant steed lay dying. 
Huntsman, rest ! thy chase is done, 
Think not of the rising sun. 
For at dawning to assail ye, 
Here no bugles sound reveillie. 
Tfu Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. : Lady of the Lake, 1848. 

Invisible Deer Hunting 

Ere since of old, the haughty thanes of Ross, 
So to the simple swain tradition tells ; 
Were wont with clans, and ready vassals thronged, 
To wake the bounding stag, or guilty wolf. 
There oft is heard at midnight, or at noon, 
Beginning faint, but rising still more loud 
And nearer, voice of hunters, and of hounds, 
And horns hoarse-winded, blowing far and keen ; 
Forthwith the hubbub multiplies, the gale 
Labours with wilder shrieks, and rifer din 
Of hot pursuit, the broken cry of deer 
Mangled by throttling dogs, the shouts of men, 
And hoofs thick beating on the hollow hill. 



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198 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Sudden the grazing heifer in the vale 

Starts at the noise, and both the herdsman's ears 

Tingle with inward dread. Aghast he eyes 

The mountains height, and all the ridges round. 

Yet not one trace of living wight discerns ; 

Nor knows, o'erawed, and trembling as he stands, 

To what, or whom, he owes his idle fear, 

To ghost, to witch, to fairy, or to fiend. 

But wonders, and no end of wondering finds. 

Siotdsh Descriplive Poems, J. LKvnKN, 1803. 

Hunting, Love, and Wine 

Say, what is wealth without delight, 
'Tis dross, 'tis dirt, 'tis useless quite, 
Better be poor, and taste of joy. 
Than thus your wasted time employ. 
Then let a humble son of song, 

Repeat those pleasures most divine ; 
The joys that life's best hours prolong, 

Are those of hunting, love, and wine. 

For hunting gives us jocund health, 
We envy not the miser's wealth, 
But chace the Fox, or timid Hare, 
And know delight he cannot share. 
Then home at eve we cheerly go, 

Whilst round us brightest comforts shine ; 
With joy shut in, we shut out woe, 

^d sing of hunting, love, and wine. 

Mild love attunes the soul to peace, 
And bids the toiling sportsman cease ; 
This softer passion's pleasing pow'rs, 
With bliss ecstatic wings the hours. 
It sooths the mind to sweetest rest, 

Or savage thoughts might there entwine ; 
Thus he alone is truly blest, 

Whose joys are hunting, love, and wine. 

Tis wine exhilarates the heart, 
W^hen sinking under sorrow's smart ; 
'Tis that can ease the wretch's woe, 
And heighten ev'rj- bliss we know. 
But wine's abuse makes man a beast. 

Be all with moderation mine ; 
Life will appear one endless feast. 

While blest with hunting, love, and wine. 

Sonqs of the Chase, i8i 1 . 



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HUNTING 199 



John Peel 



D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gray ? 
D'ye ken John Peel at the break of the day ? 
D'ye ken John Peel when he's far, far away 
With his hounds and his horn in the morning ? 
'Twas the sound of his horn called me from my bed, 
And the cry of his hounds has me oft-times led, 
For Peel's view-hollo would awaken the dead 
Or a fox from his lair in the morning. 

D'ye ken that bitch whose tongue is death ? 
D'ye ken her sons of peerless taith ? 
D'ye ken that a fox with his last breath 
Cursed them all as he died in the morning ? 
'Twas the sound of his horn, etc. 

Yes I ken John Peel, and Ruby too 

Ranter and Royal and Bellman as true ; 

From the drag to the chase, from the chase to a view, 

From a view to the death in the morning. 

'Twas the sound of his horn, etc. 

And I've followed John Peel both often and far, 
O'er the rasper-fence and the gate and the bar, 
F'rom Low Denton- Holme up to Scratchmere Scar, 
When we vied for the brush in the morning. 
'Twas the sound of his horn, etc. 

Then here's to John Peel with my heart and soul, 
Come fill— fill to him another strong bowl : 
And we'll follow John Peel through fair and through foul 
While we're waked by his horn in the morning. 
'Twas the sound of his horn, etc. 

John Wcx^oroc k Graves (<7r. 1825*. 

Hunting Song 

See seated around the winter's fire. 

The heroes of the chase ; 
See I many an honest heart is there. 

And many a cheerful face. 

Friendship, amidst the jolly throng. 

Their gen'rous ardour leads. 
And tunes the rustic huntsman's song, 

Or tells of former deeds. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 

For now, when toils of chase are o'er, 

With many a near escape. 
To Bacchus, jovial god, they pour, 

The nectar of the grape. 

For Bacchus gives fresh strength to all, 

Fresh vigour to the mind, 
And fills the wearied huntsman's hall, 

With luxury refined. 




And while the bottle passes round, 
Or jug of sparkling ale. 
Each joins the merry jovial sound, 
Each tells his fa v' rite tale : 

How reynard pass'd the rivers flood. 

The valley and the mead ; 
How Basto check'd him at the wood. 

Or Tartar took the lead. 

Each tongue relates with ardent breath, 
'Midst loud applauding cries. 

Who came the foremost to the death. 
And gain'd the noble prize. 



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HUNTING 20I 

How Dick, the parson, jolly soul ! 

Did dash through thick and thin ; 
And Tom, the huntsman, reached the goal. 

With Jack the whipper-in. 

But now they fill their glasses high, 

While mirth lights every face, 
And toast with many a joyful cry, 

* The champions of the chase.' 

The sportsman's Vocal Cabinet, 1830. 

Calm the Winds 

Calm the winds, the distant ocean. 

Where our ships in triumph ride, 
Seems to own no other motion 

Than the ebb and flow of tide. 

High perch'd upon his fav'rite spray, 

The thrush attention hath bespoke ; 
The ploughman, plodding on his way, 

To listen, stops the sturdy yoke. 

But see, the loud-tongu'd pack in view, 

The peopled hills the cry resound ; 
The sportsmen joining chorus, too, 

And rapt'rous peals of joy go round. 
Soon, soon again, the scene, so gay. 
In distant murmurs dies away. 

Again from lazy echo's cell, 

No sound is heard of mirth or woe. 
Save but the crazy tinkling bell 

The shepherd hangs upon the ewe. 

The Sportsman's Vocal Cabinet, 1830. 



Tally-ho 



The world is amazingly full of deceit, 
Incredible numbers are given to cheat ; 
And among the more honest, too many are found, 
Who will hold with the hare, and run with the hound. 

Tally-ho, &c. 

The prince, heaven preserve him, at taking a leap, 
And the sportsmen at large who their game strictly keep, 
Which they doom to the chase ; at the horn's cheerful sound. 
Clearly hold with the hare, and yet run with the hound. 

Tally-ho, &c. 



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202 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The parson, who shows no true zeal for the Church ; 
Who, allured by the world, leaves his flock in the lurch, 
While conventicles flourish, dissenters abound. 
Clearly holds with the hare, and yet runs with the hound. 

Tally-ho, &c. 

The lawyer, who takes from his client a fee. 
And tells him his cause is as good as can be ; 
Yet, on sight of a bribe, lets it fall to the ground. 
Clearly holds with the hare, and yet runs with the hound. 

Tally-ho, «S:c. 

The suitor, whose favourite object is pelf, 
Who kisses his girl, yet loves none but himself. 
Can never be happy, in wedlock when bound. 
For he holds with the hare, and yet runs with the hound. 

Tally-ho, &c. 

The youth, who, with two or three strings to his bow. 
Leaves his fair to a different market to go, 
Tells the same tale to all, and makes love a mere sound, 
Clearly holds with the hare, and yet runs with the hound. 

Tally-ho, &c. 

The merchant, mechanic, belle, beau, nymph, and swain, 
To enumerate all, my endeavours are vain ; 
For each sex, and all classes, with objects abound, 
Who will hold with the hare, and yet run with the hound. 

Tally-ho, &c. 

From the field of wild tares, seeds of wheat may we glean, 
May we never act treacherous, dirty, or mean ; 
May our friends be sincere, and our neighbours around, 
Scorn to hold with the hare, while they run with the hound. 

Tally-ho, &c. 
The Sportsman's Vocal Cabinet , 1830. 



Otter Hunting 



Look, look I brother Bob, to the meadows below, 

Over-arched by that rainbow so bright, 
And covered with lady-smocks whiter than snow, 

What a gay, what a delicate sight I 
And the river, how briskly it prattles along, 

'Neath those willows that kiss the clear stream ; 
And hark I to the nightingale I sweetly in song. 

While the ousel cock joins in his theme. 



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HUNTING 



20S 



That crowd of young sportsmen, how brisk they «ippear, 

With their sharp pointed spears raised on high, 
To dart at the otter that wantons so near ; 

For 'tis fit that the tyrant should die : 
He's a foe to our sports, and the angler's hate, 

Not a fish but he seeks for his prey ; 
He's a check to our labours, for early or late, 

He bears the rich morsel away. 




Come, let us away, and join the blithe throng : 

See 1 see he comes up for a vent ; 
And hark to the pack, how they carol along. 

Till the air with their music is rent : 
That spear-man how manly he handles the dart, 

How skilful the weapon he throws ; 
The point of the spear has now enter'd the heart. 

And there's one less to league with our foes. 

Through strong breathing brass the welkin loud rings,* 

They've brought the dead culprit to land ; 
As the conquest spreads round on felicity's wings, 

The iTJStics rejoice with the band : 
Not an angler but sought the bold glutton with hate. 

And exults in the watery chase ; 
Not a creature to-day but grows glad at his fate. 

And longs to extinguish the race. 



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204 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Sage WALTON and COTTON the otter despised, 

As a check on the pleasures of man ; 
And thought it a pity the race were devised, 

When time the creation began. 
The shorn monks of Waltham held once a dispute. 

Ere their lent and their fast day began, — 
If the otter should class with the fish or the brute, 

Or their flesh be a dainty for man. 

The church soon declared him unfit for their dis'... 

And quickly spread round their report. 
And from that day to this, he's rejected as fish, 

And for hunters become the free sport. 
Now let us away where good liquors abound. 

O'er the death of the otter we'll sing, 
May the fiends of destruction, wherever they're found, 

Make sport for the people and king. 

The Sportsman* 5 Vm'al Cabinet, 1830. 



The Old English Squire 

About fifty years ago when old George the third was King, 

And the Prince the star of fashion brightly shone in pleasure's ring, 

The English country' Squire was a man of great renown. 

He'd an old Hall in the country and a modern house in town. 

A Justice of the Peace he was and also an M.P. 

But was fettered to no party, his principles were free. 

He courted not the Premium though his son was in the guards, 

With Fox he sometimes voted, but much oftener played at cards. 

He kept a stud of Racers 'twas his joy to see them run. 

And his sideboards were well covered with the gold cups ihey had 

won. 
To the town he represented every year he gave a plate, 
And to the course, in coach and six, he always came in state 
Six goodly nags they were, though very fat and slow. 
Their manes were decked with ribbons, and their flowing tails also ; 
His lady sat beside him tall and upright as a wand 
And the people loudly cheered him on alighting at the stand. 

He kept a pack of fox hounds of pure old English breed ; 
Most musical and staunch they were, but not much famed for speed ; 
His hunters were enduring, and could go a decent pace ; 
To suit his hounds he bred them, not to run a steeple-chase : 
He boldly went at hedge or gate nor stop't at ditch or brook, 
And many a Melton Mowbray swell might shy the leap he took, 
'Twas a pleasant sight to see him through a bun-fence make a gap, 
With a pig-tail like a drum stick, cocking out behind his hat. 



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205 



On the first day of September, as the season still came round, 

With his pointers in (th)e stubble he was always to be found, 

Though his gun was like a musket, an old fashioned flint and steel. 

Wide muzzled and a kicker, she was heavy in the heel. 

Yet birds, they being plentiful, he brought down many a brace : 

And if he found them sitting why he show'd them little grace, 

For thought of shooting flying about fifty years ago, 

Kill when you can was then the word and truest shooting low. 




His rent day was at Michaelmas, within his oak roof'd wall, 
Where portraits, arms and horns of Deer bedeck'd the pannel'd wall, 
It was his custom and a good one with his tenentry to dine, 
And a fine toast that he gave them, in a gold cup fill'd with wine, 
Old claret rich and sparkling such as seldom's tasted now. 
Was the King and Royal Family, and God speed the Plough, 
Amen exclaimed the Vicar, while his patron seated were. 
While the farmers drank their bumpers off, and gave a hearty cheer. 

Tis now thirty years ago, the sad time I well remember, 
On a dull and dreary day, in the dark month of November, 
This good old English Squire, aged three score years and ten, 
Was gathered to his fathers to the grief of all good men. 
In the village church he's buried, scarce a mile from the old Hall, 
His Heir was chief mourner, six old neighbours bore the Pall, 
His memory is cherished yet, and many people say 
With the good old English Squire, good old times are gone away. 

Ballad. 



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2o6 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



The Rising of the Sun 



TO A WELSH AIR 

Wake I wake I wake to the hunting ! 
Wake ye, wake ! the morning is nigh I 

Chilly the breezes blow 

Up from the hill below, 
Chilly the twilight creeps over the sky ; 

Mark how fast the stars are fading I 

Mark how wide the dawn is spreading I 
Many a fallow deer 
Feeds in the forest near ; 
Now is no time on the heather to lie : 

Rise I rise I hark on the ocean, 
Rise ye, rise, and look on the sky ! 

Softly the vapours sweep 

Over the level deep ; 
Softly the mists on the waterfall lie I 
In the clouds red tints are glowing ; 
On the hill the black cock's crowing ; 

And through the welkin red 

See where he lifts his head I 
Forth to the hunting 1 the sun's riding high I 

Bishop Heber, from The Casket, 1829. 



The Hunting 



I 

Haste, ranger, to the Athol mountains blue ! 

Unleash the hounds, and let the bugles sing I 
The thousand traces in the morning dew. 

The bounding deer, the black-cock on the wing. 

Bespeak the rout of Scotland's gallant king ; 
The bearded rock shouts to the desart hoar ; 

Haste, ranger I— all the mountain echoes ring. 
From cairn of Bruar to the dark Glen- More, 
The forest's in a howl, and all is wild uproar I 



O many a gallant hart that time was slain I 
And many a roe-buck founder'd in the glen I 

The gor-cock beat the shivering winds in vain ; 
The antler^d rover sought his widowed den ; 
Even birds that ne'er had seen the forms of men. 



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HUNTING 207 

But roosted careless on the desart doone, 
An easy mark to ruthless archer's ken I 
No more they whirr and crow at dawning^ boon, 
Far on their grizzled heights, contiguous to the moon ! 

Ill 
Where'er the chase to dell or valley near'd, 

There for the royal train the feast was laid ; 
There was the monarch's light pavilion rear'd ; 

There flow'd the wine, and much in glee was said 

Of lady's form, and blooming mountain maid ; 
And many a fair was toasted to the brim : 

But knight and squire a languishing betray'd 
When one was named, whose eye made diamonds dim ! 
The King look'd sad and sigh'd ! no sleep that night for him ! 

IV 

The morning rose, but scarce they could discern 

When Night gave in her sceptre to the day. 
The clouds of heaven were moor'd so dark and dem,' 

And wrapt the forest in a shroud of gray. 

Man, horse, and hound, in listless languor lay, 
For the wet rack traversed the mountain's brow ; 

But, long ere night, the Monarch stole away ; 
His courtiers search'd, and raised the loud halloo. 
But well they knew their man, and made not much ado. 



Another day came on, another still. 

And aye the clouds their drizzly treasures shed ; 
The pitchy mist hung moveless on the hill. 

And hooded every pine-tree's reverend head : 

The heavens seem'd sleeping on their mountain bed. 
The straggling roes mistimed their noontide den, 

And strand the forest, belling for the dead. 
Started at every rustle — paused,* and then 
Sniff'd whistling in the wind, and bounded to the glen. 

VI 

The King was lost, and much conjecture past. 

At length the morning rose in hghtsome blue, 
Far to the west her pinken veil she cast ; 

Up rose the fringed sun, and softly threw 

A golden tint along the moorland dew : 
The mist had sought the winding vales, and lay 

A slumbering ocean of the softest hue, 
Where mimic rainbows bent in every bay. 
And thousand islets smiled amid the watery way. 



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2o8 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



VI 

The steeps of proud Ben- Glow the nobles scaled, 
For there they heard their Monarch's bugle yell ; 

First on the height, the beauteous mom he hail'd, 
And rested, wondering, on the heather bell. 
The amber blaze that tipt the moor and fell. 

The fleecy clouds that roll'd afar below. 
The hounds' impatient whine, the bugle's swell, 

Raised in his breast a more than wonted glow. 

The nobles found him pleased, nor farther strove to know. 

VIII 

The driver circle narrow'd on the heath. 

Close, and more close, the deer were bounding by ; 
Upon the bow-string lies the shaft of death ! 

Breathless impatience burns in every eye ! 

At once a thousand winged arrows fly ; 
The grayhound up the glen outstrips the wind ; 

At once the slow-hounds' music rends the sky, 
The hunters whoop and hallo cheers behind ! 
Haloo ! away they speed ! swift as the course of mind ! 

IX 

There roll'd the bausin'd * hind adown the linn, 

Transfix'd by arrow from the Border bow ; 
There the poor roe-deer quakes the cliff within, 

The silent gray-hound watching close below. 

But yonder far the chestnut rovers go. 
O'er hill, o'er dale, they mock thy hounds and thee ; 

Cheer, hunter, cheer ! unbend thy cumbrous bow, 
Bayard '^ and blood-hound now thy hope must be. 
Or soon they gain the steeps, and pathless woods of Dee. 



Halloo, o'er hill and dale I the slot is warm ! 

To every cliff the bugle lends a bell ; 
On to the northward peals the loud alarm, 

And ay the brocket ^ and the sorel ^ fell : 

But flying still before the mingled yell. 
The gallant herd outspeeds the troubled wind ; 

Their rattling antlers brush the birken "'* dell ; 
Their haughty eyes the rolling tear-drops blind ; 
But onward still they speed, and look not once behind ! 

1 face striped with white. * a bay horse. * buck in second year. 

4 buck in third year. ^ birchen. 

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HUNTING 209 

XI 

The Tilt is vanish'd on the upland gray, 

The Tarf is dwindled to a foaming rill ; 
But many a hound lay gasping by the way, 

Bathed in the stream, or stretch'd upon the hill ; 

The cooling brook with burning Jaws they swill. 
Nor once will deign to scent the tamted ground : 

The herd has crossed Breriach's gulfing gill, 
The Athol forest's formidable bound, 
And in the Garcharye a last retreat have found. 



XII 

One hound alone has cross'd the dreary height, 
The deep -toned Jowler, ever staunch and true. 

The chace was o'er ; but long ere fell the night, 
Full thirty hinds those gallant hunters slew, 
Of every age and kind ; the drivers drew 

Their quarry on behind by ford and lea : 
But never more shall eye of monarch view 

So wild a scene of mountain majesty 

As Scotland's king beheld from the tall peaks of Dee. 

Madoc of the Moor, Jamks Hogg. 1816. 



Hark! Hark 



F'or hark I hark I hark I 
The dog doth bark. 

That watches the wild deer's lair. 
The hunter awakes at the peep of the dawn, 
But the lair is empty, the deer it is gone, 

And the hunter knows not where. 

Then follow, oh follow I the hounds do cry : 
The red sun flames in the eastern sky : 

The stag bounds over the hollow. 
He that lingers in spirit, or loiters in hall, 
Shall see us no more till the evening fall, 
And no voice but the echo shall answer his call 

Then follow, oh follow, follow : 

Follow, oh follow, follow I 

Though I be now a grey, grey friar, 
Yet I was once a hale young knight : 
The cry of my dogs was the only choir 
In which my spirit did take delight. 



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2IO THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Little I recked of matin bell, 

But drowned its toll with my clanging horn : 

And the only beads I loved to tell 

Were the beads of dew on the spangled thorn. 



An archer keen I was withal, 

As ever did lean on greenwood tree : 
And could make the fleetest roebuck fall, 

A good three hundred yards from me. 
Though changeful time, with hand severe, 

Has made me now these joys forego, 
Yet my heart bounds whene'er I hear 

Yoicks I hark away ! and tally ho ! 

Maid Marian, Thomas Lovk Peacock, 1822. 



The Joys of Sporting 

There is a spirit in the chase, 
The fervor of whose wild embrace 

The sportsman only knows ; 
He feels its freshness in the gale, 
And hears its music in the vale. 

Where the brook murmuring flows. 

The mom for him hath jovial eye ; 
And its own strain of melody 

Is musically clear. 
There's not a breath that Nature breathes, 
Nor a fantastic work she wreaths 

For spirits wild and dear. 

But glad the children of the chase, 
And meet them ever as they pace 

Exultingly along : 
O who would ever spurn the joys 
(Unlike to pleasure's sickening toys) 

That to the chase belong ? 

O who could hear the enlivening horn 
Gush out in bursts, by echo borne 

Upon the listening breeze. 
And not repose upon the sound— 
And feel his gladden'd spirit bound 

As the wild chase he sees .^ 

Hark to the jovial hunters' cry I — 

And now the steeds triumphantly 

Follow the deep-toned pack ; 



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HUNTING 

They pass the vale— ascend the hill, 
And bear away in spirit still 
Along the mountain's track ! 

This is the hunter's banquet day ! 
For sickly Care, the * Hark — away ! ' 

Will ever wisely leave : 
It cannot follow in the train. 
With the wild chorus, o'er the plain. 

But looks awhile to grieve. 




And there are other sports that yield 
The milder pleasures of the field, 

That sportsmen rarely shun. 
And happier he, than child of fame, 
(The restless hunter of a name,) 

Who loves his dog and gun ; 

And laughs at all the toils of life. 
The feverish fume, the stir, the strife. 

That cloud our mortal day ; 
Thrice happy, when the eve shall bring 
The social board where hunters sing 
The jovial * Hark— away ! ' 

Sporting Magazine, February 1822. 
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The Dawning of Day 

A HUNTING SONG 

The grey eye of morning was dear to my youth, 
When I sprang like the roe from my bed, 

With the glow of the passions, the feelings of truth, 
And the light hand of Time on my head. 

For then 'twas my maxim through life to be free, 
And to sport my best moments away ; 

The cry of the hounds was the music for me, 
My glory— the dawn of the day. 




In yellow-leaved autumn, the haze of the morn 

Gave promise of rapture to come : 
Then melody woke in the sound of the horn, 

As we cheer'd the old fox from his home ; 

The breeze and the shout met the sun's early beam, 
With the village response in full play ; 

All vigour, my steed leap'd the fence or the stream, 
And was foremost at dawn of the day. 



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HUNTING 213 

The well-tuned view-halloo that shook the green wood, 

And arrested the ploughman's gay song, 
Gave nerve to the hunters, and fire to the blood 

Of the hounds, as they bounded along. 

And shall I relinquish this joy of my heart 

While years with my strength roll away ? 
Hark I the horn — bring my horse — see, they're ready to start I 

Tally-o I at the dawning of day. 

Remains, Romert Bloomfield, 1824. 

The First Day of the Season 

'Tis come— 'tis come — my gallant steed. 

No longer shalt thou pine ; 
From stall and bower to-day we're freed, 
And swift as mountain-breeze shall speed 
Once more o'er hill — and mount— and mead 

Those stalwart limbs of thine I 

'Tis come— 'tis come— my hounds so true I — 

The light cloud is on high — 
Pale autumn gently crisps the dew, 
Where leaves have donned their russet hue, 
And ga'es sigh soft, as though they blew 

The welcome of the sky I 

'Tis come— 'tis come— that soul-felt thrill 1 

My straining courser bounds ; 
And echoing wide o'er copse and rill. 

The maddening chorus sounds ! 
By heaven ! He scales the distant hill ! 
And hark ! the horn's wild summons shrill — 
On 1— On I— my steed I We're laggards still— 

On I — On I— my gallant hounds I 

Dashwooi), \cw Sporting Magazine, 1831. 

The Little Red Rover 

I 

The dewdrop is clinging 

To whin-bush and brake, 
The skylark is singing 

* Merrie hunters, awake.' 
Home to the cover. 

Deserted by night. 
The little Red Rover 

Is bending his flight. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 

II 
Resounds the glad hollo ; 

The pack scents the prey ; 
Man and horse follow ; 

Away ! Hark, away I 
Away I never fearing, 

Ne'er slacken your pace : 
What music so cheering 

As that of the chase ? 

Ill 
The Rover still speeding, 

Still distant from home, 
Spurr'd flanks are bleeding, 

And cover'd with foam ; 
Fleet limbs extended, 

Roan, chestnut, or grey, 
The burst, ere 'tis ended, 

Shall try them to-day ! 

IV 

Well known is yon cover, 

And crajf hanging o'er I 
The little Red Rover 

Shall reach it no more I 
The foremost hounds near him, 

His strength 'gins to droop ; 
In pieces they tear him. 

Who- whoop I Who- who- whoop ! 

R. E. Kgerton War burton, 1833. 

The Dead Hunter 

I 

His sire from the desert, his dam from the north, 
The pride of my stable stept gallantly forth, 
One slip in his stride as the scurry he led, 
And my steed, ere his rivals o'ertook him, lay dead. 

II 
Poor steed I shall thy limbs on the hunting field lie, 
That his beak in thy carcass the raven may dye ? 
Is it thine the sad doom of thy race to fulfil. 
Thy flesh to the cauldron, thy bones to the mill ? 

Ill 
Ah ! no. — I beheld thee a foal yet unshod, 
Now race round the paddock, now roll on the sod ; 
Where first thy young hoof the green herbage impress'd, 
There, the shoes on thy feet, will I lay thee to rest I 

R. K. K(;i:rton Warbi'rton^, 



HUNTING 215 

My Old Horn 

Though toil hath somewhat worn thy frame, 

And time hath marr'd thy beauty, 
Come forth — lone relic of my fame — 

Thou well hast done thy duty. 

Time was when other tongues would praise 

Thy wakening notes of pleasure, 
Now, miser-like, alone I gaze . 

On thee, a useless treasure. 

Some hearts may prize thy music still, 

But ah I how changed the story. 
Since first Devonia felt the thrill 

That roused her sporting glory. 

Grace still in every vale abounds, 

Yet one dear charm is wanting — 
No more I hear my gallant hounds 

In chorus blithely chaunting. 

And there my steed has found a rest, 

Beneath the mountain heather. 
That oft, like comrades sworn, we prest 

In pleasure's train together. 

And some, who at thy call would wake. 

Hath Friendship long been weeping ; 
A shriller note than thine, must break 

Their deep and dreamless sleeping. 

I too the fading wreath resign, 

(For friends and fame are fleeting). 
Around his bolder brow to twine, 

Where younger blood is beating. 

Henceforth be mute my treasured horn, 

Since time hath marred thy beauty, 
And I, like thee, by toil am worn : - 

We both have done our duty. 

The Sportsman. 1833. 

Oh won't you let me go, papa ? 

Oh won't you let me go, Papa } 

Oh won't you let me go ? 
You're too indulgent to refuse 

Your little Charles I know. 



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2i6 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

I'll not attempt to leap, Papa ; 

I'll canter very slow : 
I'll be so careful, dear Papa— 

Oh won't you let me go ? 

There's brother Gilbert, my Papa, 
And he's not more than eight ; 

And yet the other day you smiled 
To see him charge a gate : 

And Charley's not a child ^ Papa— 
He's sixy or nearly so ; 

He'll ride with Gilbert any day — 
Oh won't you let him go ? 




There's Spencer hunts three times a week, 

And he is only ten ; 
He mounts his leathers, boots, and pink 

The same as other men. 
With either 1 can run, Papa, 

Or swim, or skate, or row ; 
'Tis hard that I should stay at home — 

Oh won't you let nie go ? 

They're sure of sport to-day. Papa, 

'Tis such a hunting mom ! 
They'll very soon be here. Papa — 

Hark I there's the huntsman's horn I 



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HUNTING 217 

Look — look— beyond the chestnuts there, 

Oh what a lovely show I 
They'll find at Barkby Holt, Papa— 

Oh won't you let me go ? 

A smile — a smile— a happy sign I 

Oh yes, I thought you would ; 
You'll not regret it, dear Papa, 

I'll be so very good I 
Run Thomas, bring my pony round. 

My heart is beating so I 
Oh what a kind, a sweet Papa — 

I knew he'd let me go I 

Sporting Magazine , January 1835. 

The Chase ! The Chase ! 

The Chase I the Chase ! the glorious Chase I 

O'er" hill and dale to speed the race I 

With sprightly steed, with trusty hound, 

'Tis merry to range the greenwood round I 

To stay for no fence — the game afar — 

But urge with shouts the flying war. 

I'm for the Chase I I'm for the Chase I 

With noble Mure the field to grace I 

With his hounds so staunch, and his Huntsman keen 

No braver show has Hunter seen ! 

If a check should come as we scour the plain, 

What matter — we must cast again. 

I love ! oh, how I love to speed 

On the fleet, bounding, generous steed ; 

When rock, and stream, and forest-bourn 

Ring merrily with the Hunter's horn I 

And every hound with rapture springs 

Upon the scent the south wind brings. 

I never was in the City's roar 

But I lov'd the green fields more and more ; 

And back I flew from, its deep unrest, 

As the young Greek sprang to his mother's breast I 

And the mother's delight in that embrace 

Was nought to mine in the glorious Chase. 

The leaves were sere and grey the mom 

In the hunting hour when I was bom : 

And the hounds they gave tongue -the valleys rang 

As the Huntsmen blithe in chorus sang I 



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2i8 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

And never were heard such shoutings wild 

As welcom'd to life the Forest-child I 

IVe lived since then in pleasures rife 

Full fifty seasons a Hunter's life, 

With wealth to spend and a power to range. 

And never sought nor sigh'd for change : 

And Death, when he comes with cold embrace, 

Shall own that MY life was a glorious Chase I 

Charles Feist. Sporting Magazine, April 1836. 



The Hunters Legend 

Upon a rock that high and sheer 
Rose from the mountain's breast, 

A weary hunter of the deer 
Had sat him down to rest, 

And bared, to the soft summer air. 

His hot red brow and sweaty hair. 

All dim in haze the mountains lay, 
With dimmer vales between. 

And rivers glimmered on their way, 
By forests faintly seen ; 

While ever rose a murmuring sound 

From brooks below and bees around. 

He listened, till he seemed to hear 

A voice so soft and low. 
That whether in the mind or ear, 

The listener scarce might know ; 
With such a tone, so sweet and mild. 
The watching mother lulls her child. 

* Thou weary huntsman,' thus it said, 
' Thou faint with toil and heat I 

The pleasant land of rest is spread 
Before thy ver>' feet. 

And those whom thou would gladly see 

Are waiting there to welcome thee.' 

He looked, and 'twixt the earth and sky. 

Amidst the noontide haze, 
A shadowy region met his eye, 

And grew beneath his gaze ; 
As if the vapours of the air 
Had gathered into shapes so fair. 



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HUNTING 219 

Groves freshened as he looked, and flowers 

Showed bright on rocky bank, 
And fountains welled beneath the bowers. 

Where deer and pheasant drank, 
He saw the glittering streams ; he heard 
The rustling bough, and twittering bird. 

And friends — the dead — in boyhood dear, 

There lived, and walked again ; 
And there was one who many a year 

Within her grave had lain, 
A fair young girl, the region's pride— 
His heart was breaking when she died. 

Bounding, as was her wont, she came 

Right towards his resting-place. 
And stretched her hand, and called his name, 

With sweet and smiling face, 
Fon\'ard, with fixed and eager eyes, 
The hunter leaned, in act to rise. 

Forward he leaned, and headlong down 

Plunged from the craggy wall ; 
He saw the rocks, steep, stem and brown. 

An instant, in his fall — 
A fearful instant, and no more — 
The dream and life at once were o'er. 
William C\ Bryant, The Sportsman and Veterinary Recorder, May 1836. 

The Jolly Old Squire 

The Squire, the old Squire, is gone to his rest ; 
His heart was the bravest, his horse was the best. 
His cheer was unequall'd, his wine without peer. 
And he kept open house every day in the year ; 
Now a narrower house holds his bosom of fire. 
And cold is the hearth of the Jolly Old Squire, 
The Jolly Old Squire, 
The Jolly Old Squire, 
And cold is the heanh of the Jolly Old Squire. 

The Jolly Old Squire was as staunch as a hound, 
And gayer he seem'd, the more broken the ground. 
Neither yawner nor rasper could make him delay, 
As, mounted on Druid he roared * hark away ! ' 
The first in the field, and the last man to tire. 
His hunting is over — the Jolly Old Squire, 
The Jolly Old Squire, 
The Jolly Old Squire, 
His hunting is over— the Jolly Old Squire. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 

When the brush of sly reynard, the coveted prize, 
Was displayed at his table, joy danc'd in his eyes ; 
He quaff'd his good wine, and he sang his good song, 
And the shouting that followed was cordial and long ; 
In chorus we join'd, an unanimous choir, 
But loudest the voice of the Jolly Old Squire, 

The Jolly Old Squire, 

The Jolly Old Squire, 
But loudest of all was the Jolly Old Squire. 

We were hunting the fox on a lowering day. 

With the Squire spurring up on his high-flying grey : 

No surer foot bounded o'er hillock and dell. 

But the fates were in league, and the gallant grey fell : 

We knew that the rider must shortly expire, 

And drew up our reins round the Jolly Old Squire, 

The Jolly Old Squire, 

The Jolly Old Squire, 
We drew up our reins round the Jolly Old Squire. 

* W^hat the deuce do you stay for ?' we heard him exclaim ; 
' My sporting is spoil'd, but should your's be the same ? 
They're o'er-running the scent -Trusty Will ! turn the pack, 
A plague on the fall that laid me on my back I 
Fox-hunting for ever I ' he shouted with fire, 
These were the words of the Jolly Old Squire, 

The Jolly Old Squire, 

The Jolly Old Squire, 
The very last words of the Jolly Old Squire. 

The Sportsman, May 1838. 



Otters 

It is a sylvan scene I A mountain lake, 

Strown with green Islets, far away from man 
And man's encroachments. Day, that now doth take 

A farewell of the sky, hath just began 

To soften into shade. Behold yon Swan I 
With plumage proudly spread as on she goes, 
Shivering the pictures, which the shadows make 

Upon the waters I 'Midst those flags, where grows 
Yon Iris — gilding with its flowers the green — 

A troop of Watkr-RATS among the waves 
Are splashing sportively I and, dimly seen 

In the advancing twilight, from those caves 
That skirt the farther shore, two creatures creep — 
Ottkrs ! Quaint robbers of the mystic deep I 

Majok Caldkr Campbki.l, The Sportsman, March 1840. 



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HUNTING 221 



Wind thy Horn, my Hunter Boy 

Wind thy horn, my hunter boy, 

And leave thy lute's inglorious sighs ; 

Hunting is the hero's joy, 
Till war his nobler game supplies. 

Hark I the hound-bells ringing sweet, 

While hunters shout, and the woods repeat, 
Hilliho 1 Hilli-ho ; 

Wind again thy cheerful horn, 

Till echo, faint with answering, dies : 
Burn, bright torches, burn till morn. 

And lead us where the wild boar lies. 
Hark I the cry, * He's found, he's found,' 
WMiile hill and valley our shouts resound. 
Hilli-ho I Hilli-ho : 
Poetical Works of Thomas Aftwre, 1840. 



The Song of the Hunter 

We are off once more I -for the summer's o'er. 

And gaily we take our stand 
By the covert-side, in our might and pride, 

A gallant and fearless band I 
Again we hear our Huntsman's cheer, 

The thrilling Tally-ho ! 
And the blast of the horn, through the woodlands borne, 

As merrily onward we go ! 

Tally-ho ! 

.\s> merrily onward we go I 

No glittering show nor parade we know \ 

Our course is uncontroll'd ! 
O'er earth -through air our lords we bear 

In a chase unpaid by gold I 
Let the Racer speed, and his bright sides bleed. 

Where gladd'ning shouts resound ! 
Are the cheers that greet his course so sweet 

As the musical cry of the hound ? 

Of thk Houm) : 

.As the musical cry of the hound ? 

Oh I where is the nag in his course would flag. 

As the Southern breezes play 
On his foaming face in the heat of the chase. 

On «in Autumn's cloudy day ! 



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222 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

On I on I we go I and the brush of the foe 

Shall reward our daring toil ! 
'Tis the prize we ask, to repay our task, 

To be dcck'd in that glorious spoil I 
Who-whoop ! 

To be deck'd in that glorious spoil I 

Oh ! ours is the life that makes no strife. 

Nor causes loss nor sorrow I 
By deeds confessed that we've done our best I 

We are ready again on the morrow / 
Though our coat's less bright and our limbs less light 

Than our kindred * thorough-bred^^ 
In stanchness and game our hearts are the same, 

Till our strength with our life has sped I 
To THE Grave : 

Till our strength with our life has sped I 

James Willyam Grylls, Sporting Magazinv, November 1844. 

Dedicated (without permission again) to the best and oldest Horse in 
the Service ! 

{For further particulars inquire of* Will l^ong' Badminton,) 



Address to a Wild Deer 

Thy bold antlers call on the hunter afar 
With a haughty defiance to come to the war I 
No outrage is war to a creature like thee I 
The bugle-horn fills thy wild spirit with glee. 
As thou bearest thy neck on the wings of the wind, 
And the laggardly gaze-hound is toiling behind. 
In the beams ' of thy forehead that glitter with death, 
In feet that draw power from the touch of the heath, — 
In the wide-raging torrent that lends thee its roar, — 
In the cliff that once trod must be trodden no more, — 
Thy trust— 'mid the dangers that threaten thy reign I 
— But what if the stag on the mountain be slain ? 
On the brink of the rock — lo I he standeth at bay 
Like a victor that falls at the close of the day- 
While hunter and hound in their terror retreat 
From the death that is spumed from his furious feet ; 
And his last cry of anger comes back from the skies. 
As nature's fierce son in the wilderness dies. 
Hi^h life of a hunter ! he meets on the hill 
The new-wakened daylight, so bright and so still : 
And feels, as the clouds of the morning unroll, 



> antlers. 



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HUNTING 223 



\ 

! The silence, the splendour, ennoble his soul. 

'Tis his o'er the mountains to stalk like a ghost, 

Enshrouded with mist, in which nature is lost. 

Till he lifts up his eyes, and flood, valley, and height, 

In one moment all swim in an ocean of light ; 

While the sun, like a glorious banner unfurled, 

Seems to wave o'er a new, more magnificent world. 

Tis his— by the mouth of some cavern his seat — 

The lightning of heaven to hold at his feet, 

While the thunder below him that growls from the cloud. 

To him comes on echo more awfully loud. 

When the clear depth of noontide, with glittering motion, 

O'erflows the lone glens — an aerial ocean — 

When the earth and the heavens, in union profound, 

Lie blended in beauty that knows not a sound — 

As his eyes in the sunshiny solitude close 

'Neath a rock of the desert in dreaming repose, 

He sees, in his slumbers, such visions of old 

As his wild Gaelic songs to his infancy told ; 

O'er the mountains a thousand plumed hunters are borne, 

And he starts from his dream at the blast of the horn. 

Yes I child of the desert ! fit quarry wert thou 

For the hunter that came with a crown on his brow, — 

By princes attended with arrow and spear, 

In their white-tented camp, for the warfare of deer. 

In splendour the tents on the green summit stood, 

And brightly they shone from the glade in the wood, 

And, silently built by a magical spell, 

The pyramid rose in the depth of the dell. 

All mute was the palace of Lochy that day, 

When the king and his nobles — a gallant array — 

To Gleno or Glen-Etive came forth in their pride, 

And a hundred fierce stags in their solitude died. 

Not lonely and single they passed o'er the height— 

But thousands swept by in their hurricane-flight ; 

And bowed to the dust in their trampling tread 

Was the plumage on many a warrior's head. 

— * Fall down on your faces !— the herd is at hand I ' 

— And onwards they came like the sea o'er the sand ; 

Like the snow from the mountain when loosened by rain. 

And rolling along with a crash to the plain ; 

Like a thunder-split oak-tree, that falls in one shock 

With his hundred wide arms from the top of the rock, 

Like the voice of the sky, when the black cloud is near. 

So sudden, so loud, came the tempest of Deer. 

Wild mirth of the desert ! fit pastime for kings ! 

Which still the rude Bard in his solitude sings. 

Oh reign of magnificence ! vanished for ever ! 

Like music dried up in the bed of a river, 



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224 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Whose course hath been changed I yet my soul can survey 
The clear cloudless mom of that glorious day. 
Yes ! the wide silent forest is loud as of yore, 
And the far-ebb^d grandeur rolls back to the shore. 

Poems, Prof. Wilson, 1853. 



My Hunting Song 

Forward ! Hark forward's the cry I 
On.e more fence and we're out on the open, 
So to us at once, if you want to live near us I 
Hark to them, ride to them, beauties I as on they go, 
Leaping and sweeping away in the vale below I 
Cowards and bunglers, whose heart or whose eye is slow, 

Find themselves staring alone. 

So the great cause flashes by ; 
Nearer and clearer its purposes open, 
While louder and prouder the world-echoes cheer us ; 
Gentlemen sportsmen, you ought to live up to us. 
Lead us, and lift us, and hallo our game to us— 
We cannot call the hounds off, and no shame to us — 

Don't be left staring alone I 

Charles Kingsley. From the Casket. 



The Find 

Yon sound's neither sheep-bell nor bark. 
They're running — they're running. Go hark I 
The sport may be lost by a moment's delay ; 
So whip up the puppies and scurry away. 

Dash down through the cover by dingle and dell. 

There's a gate at the bottom — I know it full well ; 

And they're running they're running. 
Go hark : 

They're running — they're running. Go hark I 
One fence and we're out of the park ; 
Sit dov^Ti in your saddles and race at the brook, 
Then smash at the bullfinch ; no time for a look : 
Leave cravens and skirters to dangle behind ; 
He's away for the moors in the teeth of the wind, 
.And they're running— they're running, 
Go hark ! 



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HUNTING 225 

They're running — the/re running, Go hark ! 

Let them run on and run till it's dark ! 

Well with them we are, and well with them we'll be, 

While there's wind in our horses and daylight to see : 




Then shog along homeward, chat over the fight, 
And hear in our dreams the sweet music all night 
Of— They're running — they're running, 
Go hark ! 

Charles Kingsley, 1856. 



The Otter King 

Now winding, wandering pensively, 
The flowery meads among. 

The Exe has left his forest home 
And trolls his summer song. 

And downwards as he gently glides. 

So dreamily and slow, 
The golden catkins stoop to kiss 

His waters as they flow. 



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226 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

But list, ye gods ! a sound is heard 

That makes the welkin ring ; 
Bowhays is come with hound and horn 

To seek the Otter King. 

In vain, in vain, the finny tribe 

Their nightly doom deplore ; 
Not harder fate the race await 

Upon a Stygian shore. 

Ah ! long upon that blighted stream 

The Nereid's note is still ; 
And patient anglers labour long 

Their empty creels to fill 

But now the hounds are trailing on, 

The otter need be bold ; 
For, if he hear Bowhays' cheer, 

'Twill make his blood run cold. 

Louder and fuller swells the peal 

That greets the felon grim ; 
Sweet music to Bowhays' ears, 

A mourning peal to him. 

But down beneath a gnarled- oak tree, 

A fathom deep or more ; 
Above his head the turf is spread, 

And water bars the door. 

He scents, he hears the coming strife 

That gathers o'er his head ; 
The thunder seems to swell around 

And shake his old-oak bed. 

As Hercules on Cacus closed, 
The gallant * Prince ' goes in ; 

The hero of a hundred fights. 
That dog is safe to win. 

A muffled, rumbling, earthquake sound 

And then a stifled cry, 
Down in the roots a fathom deep. 

Quivers the oak hard by. 

* Hold on ! hold on I thou true Black Prince I ' 

The ardent Owen cries ; 
While close at hand he takes his stand, 

To view him as he flies. 

Then suddenly Bowhays' cheer 

The hollow valley fills ; 
The wild dun-deer the sound might hear 

On distant Winscombe hills. 



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HUNTING 227 

He's down the stream ; away, away ; 

The Otter King is gone ; 
And on his track the plunging pack 

Are madly pouring on. 

Oh ! 'twas a glorious sight to see 

Those mottled things in chase ; 
The water dashed in silver spray, 

And every hound in place. 

* Now steady all I ' cried stem Bowhays, 

* Now steady hounds and men ; 
Old Charmer's nose was never wrong, 
She winds him back again I ' 

And now the song-birds cease to sing 

Upon that frighted shore ; 
The miller, too, has stopped his mill 

To join the sylvan roar. 

Through many a dark and gurgling pool 

The deadly strife prevails ; 
And many a drop of blood is spilled 

Before that otter fails. 

Though tunefully he leads the choir 

On peaceful sabbath morn ; 
Bowhays has sworn a dreadful oath 

Upon his bugle-horn : 

* Good hounds,' said he, ' be true to me, 

I'll never eat of bread ; 
Nor climb into my couch, until 
The Otter King is dead.' 

Then striding out in rough mid-stream, 

With bugle-horn in hand ; 
' No rest, I trow, the game shall know. 

While here I take my stand.' 

Breathless at length, and pressed full sore. 

The otter seems to fail ; 
And, as he lands, the hounds rush on 

Just like a storm of hail. 

Then, once again, that mighty cheer 

Shakes water, sky, and plain ; 
And fishers on the Barle might hear 

The Otter King was slain. 

Bailys Magazine, June 1864. 
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228 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

A Dartmoor Fox ^ 

Air : * Wait for the Waggon ' 

Come, jump into your saddles, boys, and never doubt the morn ; 
The hounds are off to Skerraton, and Crocker winds his horn ; 
No cover under heaven's arch a better fox can show ; 
So forward to the forest, boys, together let us go. 

Haste to the forest, 

Haste to the forest. 

Haste to the forest ; 

Together let us go. 

Now, cease your idle gossip, pray, for yonder lies the brake ; 
And if the fox is kennelled there, I'll warrant he's awake : 
A moment, — and the spiny gorse is waving to and fro, 
A whimper, and a crash are heard ; and then a Tally-ho I 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

Away he goes, a gallant fox, his distant point to gain ; 
Nor wilder is the wind that sweeps across the moorland plain : 
Oh ! listen to the frantic cheer that marks his winged flight. 
While echoes in the vale below are bursting with delight. 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

To Holne's broad heath he whirls along, before the din of war, 
Nor tarries till he stands upon the rugged Banshie Tor ; 
Far in the rear the bristling pack is dashing on amain, 
And horsemen, too, like autumn leaves, are scattered o'er the plain. 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

But see ! the dark and stormy skies a perfect deluge pour. 
And every hound has dropped his nose upon the cold grey moor : 
* Now pick along,' Trelawny said, but said it with a sigh ; 
As if he wished his hounds had wings, and longed to see them fly. 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

But, as a spider to his line, the patient huntsman clings, 
Till suddenly at Banshie Tor, again the welkin rings ; 
No refuge now in Whitewood rocks ; the pack is dashing on ; 
For, madly to the banks of Dart the flying fox is gone. 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

And, on to catch the burning scent, as every foxhound flings. 
The Squire now begins to think the pack has found its wings ; 
As plovers o'er the moorlands speed, o'er wild-fowl o'er the sea ; 
The steed that stays along with them a right good steed must be. 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

1 Found and killed on Tuesday, November 22, 1864. 

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HUNTING 229 

Alas ! of all that gallant field, full sixty men or more, 
Seven alone are seen alive upon the Dart's rough shore : 
With one accord the seven plunge up to the saddle bow ; 
The angry flood may cool their blood, but cannot stop them now. 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

Then upwards to the heights of Yar the deadly struggle turns, 
And every hound that heads the pack immortal glory earns ; 
The horses sob — the hounds are mute, — and men are heard to 

cry — 
* Oh for a steed of Coxwell's breed, to view them as they fly ! ' 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

Again for Dart he bends his course ; again he seeks the flood ; 
And fiercely on his track the hounds are running hard for blood ; 
He rolls along, and gallops high, and dodges in the rocks ; 
But all his wiles are vain to save this famous Dartmoor fox. 
Haste to the forest, &c. 

Who-hoop I Who-hoop I the huntsman shouts ; and seven men 

are near, 
To view the hound that bowled him o'er, the gallant ' Windermere ' ; 
And when Trelawny rides to moor, over his wild countrie. 
Oh ! may he never fail to find as good a fox as he. 
Haste to the forest, &c. 
* RlNG-OuzEL,' Bailys Magazine, January 1865. 

Spring Hunting 

Back to its icy cave again 

Has sped the wintry blast, 
And Nature, with a loving smile, 

Is waking up at last. 

'Tis sweet spring-tide ; and down the vale. 

The flowery meads among, 
The mountain torrent gently glides, i 

Singing a quiet song. 

Now, haply too, beside its brae. 

Some pensive fisher stands ; 
Landing his struggling speckled prey 

Upon its silver sands. 

But hark ! the din of sylvan war 
Is rolling from the woods afar 

Upon the peaceful plain ; 
And hounds and men are flashing by, 
Like meteors in a northern sky, 

Till riot seems to reign. 



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230 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Away, away, the gallant fox 

In headlong haste to gain the rocks, 

Is flying o'er the vade ; 
The hounds upon his very brush 
Are pelting on with mighty rush, 

Like a rattling storm of hail. 

Ah me ! what struggles now ensue, 
As steeds of every form and hue 

To pace are forced to yield ; 
And men, by falls and other woes, 
Are beaten off like scattered foes 

Upon a battle-field. 




But hark ! a distant, joyous sound 
That tells the welcome tale around, — 

The whoop we love to hear ! 
Ay, blood and bone, whate'er the pace. 
Will triumph in the stoutest chase. 

It is the Beaufort cheer ! 



Not sated yet, a yeoman bold. 
Who values foxes, more than gold. 
Invites another find ; 



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HUNTING 231 

Again, the mottled beauties hie 
To draw the woodlands far and nigh, 
And catch the tainted wind.j 

But keen remorse will sure be thine. 

Thou yeoman strong and true I 
The victim of that luckless day 

Thy heart will ever rue. 

For soon a sudden, piercing cry 

From yonder copse is yelled ; 
The wailing, as of wounded hound, 

In iron clutches held. 

' Accursed be the hand would slay 
A fox in such a craven way ! ' | 

I hear the huntsman cry. 
Ride to the rescue, hunters, ride I 
Of all my pack that hound's the pride \ 

'Tis my sweet Firefly.' 

Then lightly o'er the fence he bounds, 
Ever the first to aid his hounds. 

No laggard chief, I trow ; 
But who shall paint the mute surprise 
That glistened in the huntsman's eyes. 

At scene he saw below ? 

No trap was there ; but near at hand 

A little vixen stood. 
Guarding her helpless, infant cubs 

Just littered in the wood. 

Close to the mother's back they crouched. 

Beside an old oak bole ; 
The huntsman said 'twas piteous sight, 

And sorrow filled his soul. 

Alas ! too late his sounding lash, 

And vain his angry rate : — 
A score of hounds are rushing in 

To seal the litter's fate. 

And there the little vixen fell, 

In fragments torn piecemeal ; 
The victim of that wondrous love 

That only mothers feel. 

' Ring-Ouzel,' Baily's Magazine, May i866w 



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232 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The Lord of the Valley 

A STAG-HUNTER'S SONG 

Hunters are fretting, and hacks in a lather, 

Sportsmen arriving from left and from right. 
Bridle-roads bringing them, see how they gather ! 

Dotting the meadows in scarlet and white. 
Foot-people staring, and horsemen preparing ; 

Now there's a murmur — a stir — and a shout ! 
Fresh from his carriage, as bridegroom in marriage. 

The Lord of the Valley leaps gallantly out. 

Time, the Avenger, neglecting, or scorning, 

Gazes about him in beauteous disdain, 
Lingers to toy with the whisper of Morning, 

Daintily, airily, paces the plain. 
Then in a second, his course having reckoned. 

Line that all Leicestershire cannot surpass. 
Fleet as a swallow, when summer winds follow, 

The Lord of the Valley skims over the grass. 

Where shall we take him ? Ah ! now for the tussle, 

These are the beauties can stoop and can fly ; 
Down go their noses, together they bustle. 

Dashing and flinging, and scorning to cry ! 
Never stand dreaming, while yonder they're streaming ; 

If ever you meant it, man, mean it to-day ! 
Bold ones are riding and fast ones are striding. 

The Lord of the Valley is Forward I Away ! 

Hard on his track, o'er the open and facing. 

The cream of the country, the pick of the chase, 
Mute as a dream, his pursuers are racing. 

Silence, you know, 's the criterion of pace I 
Swarming and driving, while man and horse striving 

By cramming and hugging, scarce live with them still ; 
The fastest are failing, the truest are tailing, 

The Lord of the Valley is over the hill I 

Yonder a steed is rolled up with his master ; 

Here, in a double, another lies cast ; 
Thicker and faster comes grief and disaster, 

All but the good ones are weeded at last. 
Hunters so limber, at water and timber, 

Now on the causeway are fain to be led ; 
Beat, but still going, a countryman sowing 

Has sighted the Lord of the Valley ahead. 



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HUNTING 233 

There in the bottom, see, sluggish and idle, 

Steals the dark stream where the willow-tree grows ! 
Harden your heart, and catch hold of your bridle ! 

Steady him — rouse him — and over he goes I 
Look ! in a minute a dozen are in it ! 

But Forward ! Hark Forward I for draggled and blown, 
A check though desiring, with courage untiring 

The Lord of the Valley is holding his own. 

Onward we struggle in sorrow and labour. 

Lurching, and lobbing, and * bellows to mend ' ; 
Each, while he smiles at the plight of his neighbour, 

Only is anxious to get to the end. 
Horses are flagging, hounds drooping and lagging. 

Yet gathering down yonder, where, press as they may, 
Mobbed, driven, and haunted, but game and undaunted, 

The Lord of the Valley stands proudly at bay I 

Then here's to the Baron, and all his supporters — 

The thrusters — the skirters — the whole of the tale ; 
And here's to the fairest of all hunting quarters, 

The widest of pastures — three cheers for the Vale ; * 
For the lovely she-rider, the rogue, who beside her. 

Finds breath in a gallop his suit to advance ; 
The hounds, for our pleasure, that time us the measure. 

The Lord of the Valley that leads us the dance I 

(}. J. Whytk Mf.iaillk, Baily: Magazine, February 1868. 



The Galloping Squire 

A FOXHUNTER'S SONG 

Come, ril show you a country that none can surpass, 
For a flyer to cross like a bird on the wing, 

With its acres of woodland, its oceans of grass, 
We have game in the autumn, and cubs in the spring. 

We have scores of good fellows hang out in the Shire, 

But the best of them all is the Galloping Squire. 

The Galloping Squire in the saddle has got, 

While the dewdrop is melting in gems on the thorn ; 

From the kennel he's drafted the pick of his lot, 

How they swarm to his cheer ! how they fly to his horn ! 

Like harriers turning, or chasing like fire, 

* I can trust every hound,' says the Galloping Squire. 



The Vale of Aylesbury. 

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234 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

With a wave of his arm to the covert they throng. 

* Yooi ! wind him, and rouse him I ' * By Jove, he's away ! ' 
Through a gap in the oaks see them speeding along 

O'er the open like pigeons. ' They mean it to-day I 
You may jump till you're sick, you may spur till you tire, 
For it's catch 'em who can ! ' says the Galloping Squire. 

So he takes the old horse by the head, and he sails 
In the wake of his darlings, all ear and all eye. 

As they come in his line, o'er banks, fences, and rails, 
The cramped ones to creep, and the fair ones to fly — 

It's a very queer place that will put in the mire 

Such a rare one to ride as the Galloping Squire. 




But a fallow has brought to their noses, the pack, 
And the pasture beyond is with cattle-stains spread : 

One blast of his horn, and the Squire, in a crack, 
Has lifted and thrown in the beauties, at head. 

* On a morning like this little help you require, 

And he's forward, I'll swear,' says the Galloping Squire. 

So forty fair minutes they run and they race ; 

'Tis a heaven to some — 'tis a lifetime to all, 
Though the horses we ride are such gluttons for pace, 

There are stout ones that stop — there are safe ones that fall. 
But the names of the vanquished need never transpire, 
For the/re all in the rear of the Galloping Squire. 



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HUNTING 235 

Till the gamest old varmint that ever drew breath, 
All worried and stiffened, held high for a throw. 

O'er the Squire's jolly visage is grinning in death, 
Ere he dashes him down to be eaten below. 

While the daws flutter out from a neighbouring spire 

At the thrilling * Who whoop ! ' of the Galloping Squire. 

And the labourer at work, and the lord in his hall. 
Have a smile and a jest when they hear of the sport. 

In ale or in claret he's toasted by all. 
For they scarce can expect to see more of the sort. 

So long may it be ere he's forced to retire, 

For we breed very few like the Galloping Squire ! 

G. J. Whyte Melville, Daily's Magazine, March 1868. 

Otter-Hunting on the Erme, 
South Devon 

If haply thou to Lethe's shore 

In spirit sad would stray. 
Go, tarry by the meads of Erme, 

Elysian flelds are they. 
From Dartmoor Hills a thousand 

Come carolling along. 
Charming the flowery braes of Erme 

With many a summer song. 

The song-birds, too, the livelong day 
In music sweet their homage pay, 

The river-god to greet ; 
While nodding willows stoop to lave 
Their verdure in the placid wave 

Beneath the woods of Flete. 

But if, unmoved by minstrelsy. 
This fairy vale thou doubt to be 

The true Elysian plaiii, . 
Go, join Diana's gladsome throng, 
Disporting on its banks along — 

Thou'lt never doubt again. 

E'en now, a group of men and hounds, 

And many a maiden fair. 
Are mingling in those hunting grounds, 

The revelry to share. 
Lo ! down beneath yon antlered tree, 

O'ershadowing the shore, 
The otter's holt is found to be 

A fathom deep, or more. 



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236 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Ay, see the hounds with frantic zeal 

The roots and earth uptear ; 
liut the earth is strong, and the roots are long, 
. They cannot enter there. 
Outspeaks the Squire : * Give room, I pray, 

And hie the terriers in ; 
The warriors of the fight are they, 

And every fight they win.' 

Then ever, where the felon lurked. 

Bravely they followed on ; 
And every yard those sappers worked 

A goodly yard they won. 
And underneath that gnarled oak-tree. 

That quivered to its core, 
The Naiads of the Erme could hear 

The angry battle roar. 

Above, below, on every side. 

Full many a bright eye guards the tide. 

To * gaze ' him as he flies ; 
But brighter still two blue eyes glow. 
As, mantling from the depths below. 

The silver bubbles rise. 

* He's gone ! he's gone ! ' in raptured tone 

Escapes Belinda's tongue ; 
And straight amain, o'er stream and plain, 

A thousand echoes rung. 
Dashed in abreast of hounds, I trow. 

Ten couple in his wake ; 
Their mettle did that otter know 

His gallant heart would break. 

Then holds the chase its devious way, 
Through many a dark unfathomed bay, 

O'er sandy creek and shoal ; 
Up stream and down ; they swim, they wade, 
'Mid hidden stump and alder shade, 

And many a willow bole. 

Now frequent, from the depths below. 

The bubble-chain upsprings ; 
Now, every hound enjoys the scent, 

And all the welkin rings. 
In vain he vents ; tries fore and back, 

His stronghold seeks in vain ; 
Black Waterwitch is on his track, 

And Lavish marks again. 



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HUNTING 237 

Ah me ! amid this jocund scene 

Of innocent delight ; 
My modest Muse is shocked to tell 

Belinda's tattered plight : 
Her petticoat and silken hose 

Rent by a cruel spell, 
The loveliest foot and limb disclose 

That ever blessed a belle. 

Ah ! fain would fair Belinda rush 
To close the robe, and hide the blush 

That mantles on her face ; 
But hark ! the transient pang is gone ! 
She hears old Nestor throw his tongue, 

And cannot quit the chase. 

That very e'en a hunter keen 

Told her his tale alone ; 
And when he gave his heart to her, 

Belinda lost her own. 

An hour more, and on that shore 

The whispering winds are still ; 
And slumbers every echo now 

On yonder woodland hill. 
Scourge of the stream, he slumbers too, 

And never more shall hear 
Trelawny's horn at dewy morn. 

Nor Bulteel's ringing cheer. 
June 20, T871. ' RiNG-OuzEL,' Baily's Magazine, August 1871. 



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FISHING 

A Description of the Country's 
Recreations 

Quivering fears, Heart- tearing cares, 
Anxious sighes. Untimely tears, 
Fly, fly to Courts ; 
Fly to fond worldlings' sports, 
Where strained Sardonick smiles are glosing still. 
And Greife is forc'd to laugh against her wil ; 
Where mirth's but mummery ; 
And sorrows only real be I 

Fly from our Country pastimes ! fly, 
Sad troop of humane misery ; 
Come serene lookes, 
Cleare as the Christal brookes. 
Or the pure azur'd heaven, that smiles to see 
The rich attendance of our poverty. 
Peace and a secure mind, 
(Which all men seek), we only find. 

Abused Mortalls I did you know 
Where Joy, Heart*s-ease, and comforts grow ; 
You'd scome proud towers. 
And seek them in these bowers. 
Where winds sometimes our woods perhaps may shake, 
But blustring Care could never tempest make. 
Nor murmurs e'er come nigh us, 
Saving of fountaines that glide by us. 

Here's no fantastic Mask, nor dance. 
But of our Kids, that frisk and prance : 

Nor warres are seen. 

Unless upon the greene 



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FISHING 239 

Two harmeless Lambs are butting one the other, 
Which done, both bleating run, each to his mother ; 

And wounds are never found, 

Save what the Plow-share gives the ground. 

Here are no false entrapping baites, 
To hasten too too hasty fates ; 
Unless it be 
The fond Credulity 
Of silly Fish, which worldling-like, still look 
Upon the bait, but never on the hook : 
Nor envy, unless among 
The Birds, for prize of their sweet song. 

Go I let the diving Negro seek 
For Gemmes hid in some forlorne creek ; 
We all Pearles scorne. 
Save what the dewy mome 
Congeals upon each little spire of grass, 
Which careless shepeards beat down as they pass ; 
And gold ne*re here appears, 
Save what the yellow Ceres bears. 

Blest silent Groves I O may ye be 
For ever Mirth's best Nursery ! 
May pure contents 
For ever pitch their tents 
Upon these Downs, these Meads, these Rocks, these Mountains, 
And Peace still slumber by these purling Fountains ! 
Which we may every yeare 
Find when we come a-fishing here \ 

Sir Walter Raleigh. Reliquiae WottomantF, \(i^\. 

The Passionate Fisher 

Come live with me, and be my deere. 
And we will revell all the yeere, 
In plaines and groves, on hills and dales : 
Where fragrant ayre breedes sweetest gales. 

There shall you have the beauteous Pine, 
The Cedar, and the spreading Vine, 
And all the woods to be a Skreene : 
Least Phcebus kisse my Sommer^s Queene. 

The seate for your disport shall be 
Over some River in a tree. 
Where silver sands, and pebbles sing, 
Etemall ditties with the spring. 



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240 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

There shall you see the Nimphs at play, 
And how the Satires spend the day, 
The fishes gliding on the sands : 
Offering their bellies to your hands. 

The birds with heavenly tuned throtes, 
Possesse woods Ecchoes with sweet notes, 
W^hich to your senses will impart 
A musique to enflame the hart. 

Upon the bare and leafe-lesse Oake, 
The Ring- Doves woings will provoke 
A colder blood then you possesse, 
To play with me and doe no lesse. 

In bowers of Laurell trimly dight, 
We will out-weare the silent night, 
While Flora busie is to spread : 
Her richest treasure on our bed. 

Ten thousand Glow-wormcs shall attend, 
And all their sparkling lights shall spend. 
All to adorne and beautifie : 
Your lodging with most maiestie. 

Then in mine armes will I enclose 
Lillies faire mixture with the Rose. 
Whose nice perfections in loves play : 
Shall tune me to the highest key. 

Thus as we passe the welcome night. 
In sportfull pleasures and delight, 
The nimble Fairies on the grounds, 
Shall daunce and sing mellodious sounds. 

If these may serve for to entice. 
Your presence to Loves Paradice, 
Then come with me, and be my deare : 
And we will strait begin the yeare. 

England's Helicon, 1614. 

Note. — This is perhaps the best of some ten versions founded on Marlowe's 

• Passionate Shepherd,' and is signed Ignoto, It was probably written after 
Marlowe's death in 1594, either by Shakspeare« Raleigh, or Wotton, and is in 
many ways more beautiful than the older poem. Izaak Walton gives in his 

• Complete Angler' a fairly accurate reprint 01 the original, but as neither it 
nor Raleigh's answer is on our subject, we have not included them. 



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FISHING 



241 




A Worthy Answer 

O let me rather on the pleasant Brinke 
Of Tyne and Trent possesse some dwelling place ; 
Where I may see my Quill and Corke downe sink 
With eager bit of Barbell, Bleike, or Dace : 
And on the world and his creatour think, 
While they proud Thais painted sheet embrace, 
And with the fume of strong Tobaccc^s smoke, 
All quaffing round are ready for to choke. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Let them that list these pastimes then pursue, 
And on their pleasing fancies feede their fill ; 
So I the Fields and Meadovves greene may view, 
And by the Rivers fresh may walke at will, 
Among the Dixzies and the Violets blew : 
Red Hyacinth^ and yellow Daffadill., 

Purple Narcissus like the morning rayes, 

Pale Ganderglas^^ and azor Culverkayesr 

1 count it better pleasure to behold 
The goodly com passe of the lofty Skie, 
And in the midst thereof like burning gold 
The flaming chariot of the worlds great eye ; 
The watry cloudes that in the aire uprold 
With sundry kindes of painted colours flye ; 

And faire Aurora lifting up her head, 

All blushing rise from old Tithonus bed. 

The hils and Mountaines raised from the Plaines, 
The plaines extended levell with the ground, 
The ground divided into sundry vaihes. 
The vaines enclos'd with running rivers round, 
The rivers making way through natures chaine, 
With headlong course into the sea profound : 
The surging Sea beneath the valleys low, 
The valleys sweet, and lakes that lovely flow. 

The lofty woods, the Forrests wide and long, 
Adorn'd with leaves and branches fresh and g^een, 
In whose cool brow's the birds with chanting song 
Do welcom with their quire the Summers queen, 
The meadowes faire where Fiords guifts among, 
Are intermixt the verdant grasse betweene. 
The silver skaled fish that softly swim me. 
Within the brookes and christall watry brim. 

All these and many more of his creation. 
That made the heavens the Anjrler oft doth see 
And takes therein no little delectation, 
To thinke how strange and wonderfull they be, 
Framing thereof an inward contemplation, 
To set his thoughts on other fancies free. 

And whiles he lookes on these with joyfull eie. 

His minde is rapt above the starry skye. 

OF THE GOODGIOX 

Loe in a little boat where one doth stand. 
That to a Willow bough the while is tide. 
And with a pole doth stirre and raise the sand, 
Whereas the gentle streame doth softly slide, 

1 ragwort? - blucljell. 

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FISHLVG 



243 



And then with slender Line and Rod in hand, 
The eager bit not long he doth abide. 

Well leaded is his Line, his Hook but small, 

A good big Cork to beare the streame withall. 

His bait the least red worme that may be found, 
And at the bottome it doth alwayes lye ; 
Whereat the greedy Goodgion bites so sound, 
That hooke and all he swalloweth by and by : 
See how he strikes, and puis them up as round, 
As if new store the play did still supply : 

And when the bit doth die, or bad doth prove, 

Then to another place he doth remove. 

J. Dkxnys. The Secrets of a nglin^i*, 1613. 

Note. — W'e have in the reproductions of this song a good instance of the 
liberties liikcn by some editors. We give the first verse of it from two well- 
known w orks : 

Let me live harmlesly, and near the brink 

Of Trent or Avon have a dwelling place, 

Where I may see my quil or rork down sink, 

With eager bit of Pearch, or Bleak, or Dace ; 

And on the world and my Creator think, 

Whilst some men strive, ill gcHten goods t'embrace ; 

And others spend their time in base excess 

Of wine or worse, in war and uuititonness. 

Walton's version in The Compleat Atii^ler, 16^3. 

Would I might live near Avon 5 flow'ry brink 

And on the World, and my Creator think. 

Whilst others strive, ill gotten goods t'embrace. 

Would I near lVe//and hud a dwelling-place. 

Would I these harmless pa:>linK's might pursue 

And uncontroU'd might Ponds »nd Rivers view ; 

Whilst others spend their time in base excess, 

In Drinking, Gaming, and in Wantonness. 

R. NOBBES. in T/ie Comphat Trollcr, 1682. 

Song 

You that fish for Dace and Roches, 
Carpes or Tenches, Bonus noches, 
Thou wast borne betufcem' two dishes, 
When the Friday signe was Fishes, 
Anglers yearcs are made and spent. 
All in Ember weekes and Lent. 

Breake thy Rod about thy Noddle, 
Through thy wormes and flies by the Pottle, 
Keepe thy Corke to stoppe thy Bottle, 
Make straight thy hooke, and be not afeard, 

To shave his Beard, 
That in case of started stitches, 
Hooke and Line may mend thy lireechcs. 

R 2 

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244 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

He that searches Pooles aud Dikes, 
Halters Jackes, and strangles Pikes, 
Let him know^ though he thinke he wise isy 
Tis not a sport but an Assizes. 
Fish so tookCy were the case disputed^ 
Are not tooke, but executed. 

Breake thy Rod, &c. 

You whose Pastes y5?r Rivers throaty 
And make I sis /ay her Groat ^ 
Thai from May to parcht October, 
Scarce a Minew can sleeve sober ^ 
Be your Fish in Oven thrust^ 
And your owne Red- Paste the crust. 

Breake thy Rod, &c. 

Hookes and Lines of larger sizes. 
Such as the Tyrant that troules devises^ 
Fishes nere, beleive his Fable, 
What he cats a Line is a Cable. 
Thafs a Kna^'e of endlesse Rancor, 
Who for a Hooke doth cast in an Anchor. 

Breake thy Rod, &c. 

Butofali men he is the Cheater^ 

Who with small fish takes up the Greater. 

He makes Carpes without all dudgen 

Make a Jonas of a Gudgen. 

Cruell man that slayes on Gravell 

Fish that Great with Fish doth TravcH. 

Breake thy Rod, &c. 

M. Llewellyn, Sfen Miracles . 1646. 



The Jolly Angler 

O the jolly angler's life is the best of any. 
It is a fancy, void of strife, and will be lov'd by many ; 
It is no crime at any time, but a harmless pleasure. 
It is a bliss of lawfulness ; it is a joy, it's not a toy ; 
It is a skill that breeds no ill ; it is sweet and complete ; 
Adomation to our mind ; if s witty, pretty, decent, pleasant ; 
Pastime we shall sweetly find, if the weather prove but kind, 
We will have our pleasure : 



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FISHING 



245 



In the morning up we start as soon as day light's peeping, 
We take a cup to cheer the heart, and leave the sluggard sleeping, 
Forth we walk, and merry talk, to some pleasant river, 
Near the Thames' silver streams ; there we stand, rod in hand. 
Fixing right, for a bite ; but if the bait the fish allure. 
They come bobbing, nipping, biting, skipping ; 
Dangling at our hooks secure ; with such pastime sweet and pure. 
We could fish for ever. 




Hideous noise, in all their joys, not to be admired. 

As we walk the meadows green, where there the fragrant air is. 

Various objects to be seen : O what pleasure there is : 

Birds they sing, and flowers spring, full of delectation : 

A whistling breeze runs through the trees, there we meet meadows 

sweet ; 
Flowers sweet, the mind : here's scent of sweet content 
By those sweet refreshing bowers, living, giving, easing, pleasing, 
Vitals from those herbs and flowers, rais'd up by those falling 

showers. 

For man's recreation. 



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246 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

As thro' the shady fgrest, where echo there is sounding. 

Hounds and huntsmen roving there, in their sports abounding : 

Hideous noise in all their joys, not to be admired ; 

Whilst we fish, to gain a dish, with a hook, in the brook 

Watch our float, spare our throat, while they're sult'ring to and 

fro. 
Twivy, twiv*y, twivy, hark the horn does sweetly blow. 
Hounds and huntsmen all on a row. 

With their pastime tired. 

We have gentles in our horns, we have worms and paste too ; 
We have line, and choice of twine, fitting for the angel : 
If it's so away we'll go, seeking out chub or trout. 
Eel or pike, or the like, dace or black, there we seek, 
Harblo jack and many more, gudgeons, perches, tenches, roaches. 
Here's the jolly angler's store, we have choice offish galore, 
Wc will have our angle. 

If the sun's excessive heat should our bodies suiter. 

To some house or hedge retreat for some friendly shelter. 

But if we spy a shower nigh, or the day uncertin. 

Then we flee beneath a tree, then wc eat our victuals sweet. 

Take a coke, smoke and soak, then again to the same ; 

Hut if we can no longer stay, we come laughing, joking, quaffing, 

smoking, 
So delightful all the way, thus we do conclude the day. 
With a cup at parting. 

Ballad. 



On a Banck as 1 sate a Fishing 

A DESCRIPTION OF THE SPRING 

And now all Nature seem'd in Lcrjc^ 
The lusty Sap began to move ; 

'^e\w Juice did stirre th' embracing Vines ; 

And Birds had drawne their Valentines : 

The jealous Trout^ that low did lie, 

Rose at a wel -dissembled Flie : 

There stood my friend, with patient Skill 

Attending of his trembling ^uill. 

Already were the Ea7Jes posscst 

With the swift Pilgrims daubed nest. 

The Gro7'es already did rejoyce 

In Philomels triumphing voycc. 

H.WOTTON. Retiqiihr Wotdmiancc, 1651. 



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FISHING 247 

The Angler's Song 

As inward love breeds outward talk, 
The Hound some praise, and some the Hawk^ 
Some better pleas'd with private sport, 
Use Terns ^ some a Mistris court : 

But these delights I neither wish, 

Nor envy, while I freely fish. 

I 210) 

r\>e ANG LERS S^ng. 



FacsimHe of double page in Walton's (oniplcat Angler, 1653, with music so 
•printed that the bass and tenor could read from the same copy, when thf 
book lay between them. 

\^\\oJiunis^ doth oft in danger ride ; 

Who hauks^ lures oft both far and wide ; 

Who uses games^ may often prove 

A loser ; but who fals in lox e, 
Is fettered in fond Cupids snare : 
My Angle breeds me no such care. 

Of Recreation there is none 
So free as fishing is alone ; 
All other pastimes do no less 
Then mind and body both possess ; 

My hand alone my work can do, 

So I can fish and study too. 



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248 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

I care not, I, to fish in seas, 
Fresh rivers best my mind do please, 
Whose sweet calm course I contemplate, 
And seek in life to imitate ; 

In civil bounds I fain would keep. 

And for my past offences weep. 

And when the timerous Trout I wait 

To take, and he devours my bait, 

How poor a thing sometimes I find 

Will captivate a greedy mind : 
And when none bite, I praise the wise, 
Whom vain alurements nc're surprise. 

I5ut yet though while I fish, I fast. 
I make good fortune my repast, 
And thereunto my friend invite. 
In whom I more then that delight : 

Who is more welcome to my dish, 

Then to my Angle was my fish. 

As well content no prize to take 

.A.S use of taken prize to make ; 

For so our Lord was pleased when 

He Fishers made Fishers of men ; 
Where (which is in no other game) 
A man may fish and praise his name. 

The first men that our Saviour dear 
Did chuse to wait upon him here. 
Blest Fishers were ; and fish the last 
Food was, that he on earth did taste : 
I therefore strive to follow those. 
Whom he to follow him hath chose, 

IZAAK Wai.TON, The CompUat Angler, 1653, 



With a gift of a Salmon, sent to that 
famous and best of men, my dear 
friend, Dr. Thomas Powell : 

A TRANSLATION BY THE EDITOR (DR. A. ». GROSART) 

Accept the Salmon that with this 1 send. 
To you renown 'd and best-belovM friend ; 
Caught 'neath the Fall, where mid the whirling foam 
O' the quick-darling Usk, he just had come. 



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FISHING 

Twas thus in brief : the treach'rous coloured fly 

For a meal, guil'd his unprophetic eye, 

So catching at it, he himself was caught : 

Swallowing it down, this evil fate he wrought, 

— His only purpose being then to dine — 

Lo ! to be swallow'd, swiftly he was mine : 

Misled by his gay-painted fly astray. 

Of angler's rod he is the welcome prey. 

Benign retirement ! (Full reward to me 

For all my life's thick-coming misery :) 

How safe this salmon— and long years have seen- 

If he content in the still pools had been : 

But soon as for the thund'ring Fall he craves, 

To bound and flash amidst its tossing waves, 



249 




He leaps to seize what seems a noble prize, 
And gulps the hidden hook whereon he dies. 
Often are little things the types of great : 
Look thee around, and with all this thoul't meet. 
The foamy Fall the world is, man the fish ; 
The plum'd hook, sin guis'd in some lordly dish. 

H. Vaughan, 1660? 



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250 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Groping, or Tickling, Trout 

You see the ways the Fisher-man doth take 
To catch the Fish ; what Engins doth he make ? 
Behold I how he ingageth all his Wits, 
Also his Snares, Lines, Angles, Hooks, and Nets : 
Yet Fish there be, thai neither Hook, nor Line, 
Nor Snare, nor Net, nor Engin, can make thine : 
The\' must be grop't for, and be tickled too, 
Or they will not be catcht what e're you do. 

John Busyas, Pd/j^rh/i's Projrrfss. 1678. 



The Schoolboy 



Or, when atop the hoary western hill 

The ruddie Sunne appears to rest his chin. 
When not a breeze disturbs the murmuring rill, 

And mildlie warm the falling dewes begin, 
The gamesome Trout then shews her silverie skin, 

As wantonly beneath the wave she glides, 
Watching the buzzing flies, that never blin,' 

Then dropt with pearle and golde, displays her sides, 
While she with' frequent Icape the ruffled strcame divides. 

On the greene banck a truant Schoolboy stands ; 

Well has the urchin markt her mery play, 
An ashen rod obeys his guileful 1 hands, 

And leads the mimick fly across her way ; 
Askaunce, with wistly look and coy delay. 
The hungrie Trout the glitteraund treachor eyes, 

Semblaunt of life, with speckled wings so gay ; 
Then, slylie nibbling, prudish from it flies. 

Till with a bouncing start she bites the truthless prize. 

Ah, then the Younker gives the fatefuU twitch ; 

Struck with amaze she feels the hook N'pight 
Deepe in her gills, and, plonging where the beech 

Shaddows the poole, she runs in dred affright ; 

In vain the deepest rockc, her late delight. 
In vain the sedgy nook for help she tries ; 

The laughing elfe now curbs, now aids her flight. 
The more entangled still the more she flies, 

And soon amid the grass the panting captive lies. 



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" Beneath this Oaken umbrage let us lay." 

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FISHING 251 

Where now, ah pity 1 where that sprightly play, 
That wanton bounding, and exulting joy, 

That lately welcomd the retourning ray. 

When by the rivletts bancks, with blushes coy, 
April walkd forth — ah ! never more to toy 

In purling streame, she pants, she gasps and dies I 

William Julu'S Micklk, SirAfartyn, 1777. 

The Invitation 

Let us our steps direct where Father-Thames 
In silver windings draws his humid train, 
And pours, where'er he rolls his naval-stream, 
Pomp on the city, plenty o'er the plain. 
Or by the banks of Isis shall we stray, 
(Ah why so long from Isis banks away I) 
Where thousand damsels dance, and thousand shep- 
herds play, 

Amid the pleasaunce of Arcadian scenes. 

Love steals his silent arrows on my breast ; 

Kor falls of water, nor enamel'd greens, 

Can sooth my anguish, or invite to rest. 

You, dear lanthe, you alone impart 

Halm to my wounds, and cordial to my smart : 

The apple of my Eye, the life-blood of my Heart. 

With line of silk, with hook of barbed steel, 

Beneath this Oaken umbrage let us lay. 

And from the waters crystal-bosom steal 

Upon the grassy bank the finny prey : 

The Perch, with purple speckled manifold ; 

The Eel, in silver labyrinth self-roll'd, 

And Cai-p, all bumish'd o'er with drops of scaly gold. 

Or shall the meads invite, with Iris-hues 
And nature's pencil gay-diversify'd, 
( For now the sun has Irck'd away the dews) 
Fair-flushing and bedeck'd like virgin-bride ? 
Thither, (for they invite us) we'll repair, 
Collect and weave (whate'er is sweet and fair) 
A posy for thy breast, a garland for thy hair. 

William Thompson. An Hymn to May, 1740? 

Trout Hall 

. Bright blazed the fire of crackling wood. 
And threw around a cheerful gleam ; 
In front a vast oak table stood — 
A bacon-rack hung from the beam : 



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252 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Pipes, mugs, the chimney-piece well grac'd,- 

In rows the fishing-rods hung o'er ; 
On each side otter-skins were placed. — 

Rap 1 Rap I Cries Dame — ' Who's at the door ? ' 

Chorus. 

Some jolly anglers loud they bawl, 
T'enjoy the pastime of Trout-Hall. 

Bright as her fire glow'd Dame's plump face 

As her old friends she welcom'd kind ; 
* Here ! Joan and Dolly, clear the place, 

And tap the humming ale, d'ye mind ? 
First fetch my bottle of right Nantz, 

The ev'ning air is keen and raw ; 
My friends of cold shall run no chance — 

You'll pledge me, gentlemen, I know.' 

Chorus. 

Come jolly anglers, one and all. 
You're kindly welcome to Trout- Hall. 

Their stomachs fortified, around 

The sparkling fire the anglers spread ; 
Fill pipes ; crack jokes ; the walls resound 

With laughter that might rouse the dead ; 
The supper on the table smokes I 

Round the oak board they take their seats ; 
Now din of knives, forks, plates I —no jokes — 

Right earnest aldermanic feats. 

Chorus. 

Much good may't do each honest soul — 
Each true bred brother of Trout- Hall. 

The supper o'er, well fill'd each guest, 

Dame with her private flask appears ; 
Hopes they are pleas'd — * She's done her best ' — 

They greet th' old worthy with three cheers : 
Again fill tankard, pipe and bowl,- 

Joke, tale, and toast, and song go round ; 
Begone dull Care ! shouts ev'ry soul, 

To thee this is forbidden ground — 

Chorus. 

Begone ! Thou never canst enthraH, 
The Jolly Anglers at Trout- Hall. 

The AngUr: a Poem by P locator, 1819. 



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** When suddenly the waters rushed, and swelled, 

and up there sprung ^ r 

*A humid maid' of beauty's mould." Digitized by LjOOglC 



FISHING 253 

The Angler 

(FROM THE (JERMAN OF GOETHE) 

Des Wasser zauscht ; des Wasser schwoUy ^c. 

There was a gentle Anij:ler who was angling in the sea, 
With heart as cool as only heart, untaught of love, can be ; 
When suddenly the waters rushed, and swelled, and up there 

sprung 
A humid maid of beauty's mould — and thus to him she sung : 

* Why dost thou strive so artfully to lure my brood away. 

And leave them then to die beneath the sun's all-scorching ray ? 
Could'st thou but tell how happy are the fish that swim below, 
Thou would'st with me, and taste of joy which earth can never 
know. 

* Does not bright Sol, Diana too, more lovely far appear 

When they have dipped in ocean's wave their golden, silvery hair ? 
And is there no attraction in this heaven -expanse of blue, 
Nor in thine image mirrored in this everlastmg dew ? ' 

The water i-ushed, the water swelled, and touched his naked feet, 
And fancy whispered to his heart it was a love-pledge sweet : 
She sung another siren lay, more 'witching than before, 
Half-pulled -half-plunging — down he sunk, and ne'er was heard 
of more. 

Annals of Sporting, 1827. 



The Angler 



Thou that hast loved so long and well 
The vale's deep quiet streams, 

Where the pure water-lilies dwell, 
Shedding forth tender gleams ; 

And o'er the pool the May-fly's wrng 

Glances in golden eves of spring. 

Oh I lone and lovely haunts are thine. 

Soft, soft the river flows, 
Wearing the shadow of thy line, 

The gloom of alder-boughs ; 
And in the midst, a richer hue. 
One gliding vein of Heaven's own blue. 

And there but low sweet sounds are heard- 

The whisper of the reed, 
The plashing trout, the rustling bird, 

The scythe upon the mead ; 
Yet, through the murmuring osiers near, 
There steals a step which mortals fear. 



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254 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Tis not the stag that comes to lave, 

At noon, his panting breast ; 
Tis not the bittern, by the wave 

Seeking her sedgy nest ; 
The air is filled with summer's breath, 
The young flowers laugh — yet look I 'tis Death ! 

Ikit if, where silvery currents rove, 

Thy heart, grown still and sage, 
Hath learned to read the words of love 

That shine o'er nature's page ; 
If holy thoughts thy guests have been, 
Under the shiide of willows green ; 

Then, lover of the silent hour 

By deep lone waters past. 
Thence hast thou drawn a faith, a power. 

To cheer thee through the last : 
And, wont on brighter worlds to dwell, 
Mayst calmly bid thy streams farewell. 

J\wiual Remains of the late Mrs. Ilcmans, 1836. 



Trolling 



* Stand back, my friends, our first attempt be here. 

The wave is rippled, and the top is clear ; 

liehind these flags I'll hide me as 1 go, 

Lest jack or pike refuse the bait 1 throw.' 

He lets the bait upon his side recline, 

In his left hand he holds some slacken'd line. 

Lowers the rod, and then with gentle sweep, 

Urges the tempting gudgeon to the deep ; 

The tempting gudgeon to the bottom flies, 

Hut right and left the Troller bids it rise, 

Curling and spinning in the watery way, 

Its glist'ning form attracts the watchful prey ; 

Lo I as the bait is near the surface led, 

A mighty fish forsakes his weedy bed, 

With sudden grasp obtains the yielding snare, 

Then backward darts to pouch it in his lair ; 

Quick through the rings the silken tackle rides, 

Far to the left the hungry tyrant glides, 

A moment stops, then off again doth steal, 

And now the line has nearly left the reel ; 

What must the Troller do ? it is not here 

As tho' the surface of the wave were clear, 

And he could follow as the rover went. 



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FISHING 255 

Collected weeds such anxious wish prevent ; 
Check but the fish before he makes his pause, 
He'll cast the treacherous morsel from his jaws ; 
But sec, the action of the winch is o'er, 
Propitious sign I the line retreats no more ; 
Loose on the wave the latter portion lies ; 
* So let it rest until we strike our prize.' 

He waits with patience — * minutes ten have sped 

Since yonder pike first with my gudgeon fled. 

Now for the strife, he doubtless holds my fish 

Within his pouch securely as I wish.' 

Nearer the side the troller takes his stand, 

Winds the slack tackle with a careful hand 

Then, on a sudden, when he sees it tight, 

He strikes his victim upward to the right. 

Signal for action ; urged by piercing pain. 

The astonished fish darts down the liquid plain, 

The obedient line forsakes the quick'ning brass. 

And lets him freely through the waters pass ; 

Crossing the pool, he rushes here and there, 

And struggles hard to break the stubborn snare ; 

The stubborn snare, controlled with patient skill, 

True to its trust, enchains the wand'rer still, 

Mocks every effort, foils his angry strength. 

And bids him seek the upper wave at length : 

Mark where he rises I Ah I he sees his /oe, 

Again he hurries to the stream below ; 

Yon heavy weeds are now his only chance, 

To them he makes, but let him not advance ; 

The wary troller turns his desp'rate head, 

And winds him in where open waters spread ; 

A second time the lusty fish appears. 

Again he plunges with increasing fears. 

Again he sinks, again he comes in sight. 

And all the pool is troubled with his might ; 

He shakes his head, he flings himself about, 

He tugs, he tries to tear the weapon out ; 

The harmless tenants of the water fly 

In each direction as he rushes by. 

With horror seized — what joy would fill them all 

Could they be conscious of the tyrant's thrall, 

But ev'r>' effort calls his strength away, 

And ev'ry moment sees an easier prey ; 

Borne to the top, his jaws distain'd with blood. 

Still floundering on he beats the foamy flood. 

Like some bold warrior, tho' his doom be cast, 

'Mid wounds and death he struggles to the last. 

W. WatTs's Piscatory Vvrses ; The S port sui tin, De'cembcr 1836. 



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256 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



The Fishers Call 

The moor-cock is crowing o*er mountain and fell, 
And the sun drinks the dew from the blue heather-bell ; 
Her song of the morning the lark sings on high, 
And hark, 'tis the milk-maid a-caroUing by. 

Then up, fishers, up ! to the waters away ! 

Where the bright trout is leaping in search of his prey. 

Oh, what can the joys of the angler excel, 
As he follows the stream in its course through the dell ! 
Where every wild flower is blooming in pride, 
And the blackbird sings sweet, with his mate by his side. 
Then up, fishers, up ! to the waters away I 
Where the bright trout is leaping in search of his prey. 

'Tis pleasant to walk at the first blush of morn, 
In spring when the blossom is white on the thorn, 
By the clear mountain stream that rolls sparkling and free, 
O'er crag and through vale, its glad course to the sea. . 
Then up, fishers, up I to the waters away I 
Where the bright trout is leaping in search of his prey. 

In the pools deep and still, where the yellow trouts lie, 
Like the fall of a rose-leaf we'll throw the light fly ; 
Where the waters flow gently, or rapidly foam, 
We'll load well our creels and hie merrily home. 

Then up, fishers, up ! to the waters away ; 

Where the bright trout is leaping in search of his prey. 

William Andrew Chatto, Fishers Garland, 1837. 



Summer Rambles ; or, The 
Fisher's Delight 

Tune : ' And are ye sure the news is true ? ' 

'Tis pleasant now, when sunlight fills 

The odour-breathing air, 
To murmuring streams and shining brooks 

In gladness to repair : 
Tis sweet to see the morning smile 

Of fishers as they hie 
To search the sparkling element 

With taper rod and fly. 



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FISHING 257 

'Tis sweet to see the matchless charms 

That gem around the scene — 
The warblings of the air-borne birds 

On outstretch'd wing serene : 
To see the * glory of the grass,' 

The splendour of the flower, 
As Nature puts her freshness on 

To gild each gladsome hour. 

And when the evening time draws on, 

And fiU'd's the well-form'd creel, 
And thoughts of home upon the heart 

With gladdening ray will steal ; 
'Tis pleasant to the angler's soul 

To raise his shining load. 
And with his taper rod and reel. 

To take his homeward road. 

'Tis pleasant, o'er the evening glass, 

To hear the blythsome song, 
And drink the healths of honest hearts 

We've known both well and long : 
Who've haunted all the sweetest spots 

Of our delightful stream. 
With zest as indescribable 

As youth's delicious dream ! 

And still, as onward rolls the hour, 

And recollections, kind, 
Come back, with soften'd hues and forms. 

And light the thinking mind, 
'Tis sweet to quaff a cup to those — 

The Dead — the Gone-away — 
With whom we've spent, in manhood's prime. 

Oh, many a happy day I 

Then blessings on the anglers true ; 

Contented may they live ; 
With every grace and every good 

That bounteous earth can give : 
Success crown every manly heart, 

And every gifted hand, 
As by the silent streams they take 

Their joy-inspiring stand ! 

William Gill Thompson, Fisher's Garland, 1838. 



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258 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Auld and Young 

Tune : * Fie I gar rub her owre wi' strae I ' 

It's Mayday this ; the wale * o' days ; 

The westlin' wind blaws saft an' free, 
Far i' th' sky, their notes o' joy 

The Lav'rock-quire are liltin' hie. 
Hear them ye may, ye canna see ! 

The dew-drap sparkles on the thorn ; 
And nature says to ear and e'e, 

* This is ' — my boy, — * a simmer's mom.' 

Round Shillhope-Law, young Coquet's stream- 

A half-grown syke ^ — is wimplin' ' wild : 
She bids ' guid mom ' to Barra Bum, 

Like child forgath'rin' in wi' child. 
'Mang Rowhope Craigs the winds, beguiled, 

An angry speat send down the vale. 
And ower the Linn, wi' bickerin' din, 

She's foamin' like the heady ale I 

'Neath HarbottUs auld castle wa', 

Amang the cliffs she boils amain ; 
Frae rifted rock to woody shaw ; 

Frae stalwart craig to auld gray stane. 
Down, speedin' hameward, she is gane 

Past lanely Heppl^s ruin'd peel ; 
And wha begins aboon the whins, 

At Flotterton may load his creel. 

I canna climb the brent hill-side, 

Where stripling Coquet first is seen ; 
WJiere 'neath the Bell-rig^ shadow wide, 

The silly sheep lie down at e'en ; 
I canna climb the knowes, sae green. 

Where round * the bend ' the river steals, 
Or where she wars, amang the scaurs. 

Her weary way to rough Unn-shiels, 

Still we can toddle, fit by fit. 

To Brinkburn where the breeze hits fine ; 
The auld man's nae sae crazy yet. 

But he can thraw a winsome line. 
'Gin there we fail, we'se no repine ; 

When smelts are eydent,* trouts are shy ; 
And i' th' slack, by the dam-back, 

We'se maybe raise a grilse forbye I 

' choice. * rill. ' winding. * busy. 



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FISHING 

It's ill the mountain side to speel, 

When ance the knees begin to fail ; 
When ance the snaws o' age we feel, 

It's ill to thole the mountain gale, 
* Slaw wark maks sicker' 's an auld tale I 

Where'er they loup we'll tak our stand ; 
An thou shall say, Lad, mony a day, 

* It's weel to ken — the Maister's Hand.' 

Thomas Doubled ay, Fisher's Garland, 1842. 

The Morning Airly 

Tune : ' Com rigs are bonnie ' 

It's late, my Lad, to tak' the Gad ; 

All nature's now in motion ; 
The floods o' May hae swept away 

The Sawmon's fry to Ocean ; 
In Dewshill, lang, the Throstle's sang 

He's been rehearsin' cheerly ; 
Our only line's * far aff an' fine,' 

And tak' the Momin' airly I 

Up through the glens, amang the staens, 

The bums wi' heat seem dryin' ; 
Slaw, tired and still, by Little Mill, 

Wi' worm the Shadesman's hiein' ; 
Ahint the bush that bauds the thrush, 

He now can shelter rarely ; 
Our only line's * far aff an' fine,' 

And tak' the momin' airly ! 

At Alwinton, the Washin's on, 

And loud the Lads are singin' ; 
To see the sheep spang,* soom,' and dreep, 

The Dale wi' laughter's ringin' ; 
Het, tired, an' dry, the thirsty kye 

The fords are taking fairly ; 
Our only line's * far aff an' fine,' 

And tak' the momin' airly ! 

Yet, through the trees, there's still a breeze ; 

The pool the gale is curling ; 
Beneath tne beam, the glitterin' stream 

Is owre the pebbles purling ; 
We're no' the sort to lose our sport, 

Because the stream rins clearly ; 
But thraw the ^ne * far aff an' fine,' 

An' tak' the momin' airly I 

1 jump Id. ' swim. 



259 



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26o THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The gleg-e'ed trout we'll pick him out, 

Amang the staens fu' deftly ; 
Our flies shall fa', the verra snaw 

Can come nae down sae saftly ; 
We'll 'tice them here, we'll 'tice thetn there, 

What though they loup but sparely, 
Wi' a cast o' line * far aff an' fine,' 

All in the mornin' airly I 

When floods come down, a callant loon 

May catch them wi' a tether, 
And sawmon roe, be a' ' the go ' 

For gowks in rainy weather, 
But gi'e to me the light midge flee. 

When streams are rinnin' clearly, 
And a cast o' line * far aff an fine,' 

All in the mornin' airly I 

Thomas Doubleday, Fishers Garland, 1845. 

The South Wind 

A Fisherman's Blessings 

O blessed drums of Aldershot ! 

O blessed South-west train ! 
O blessed, blessed Speaker's clock, 

All prophesying rain ! 

O blessed yaffil, laughing loud ! 

O blessed falling glass ! 
O blessed fan of cold gray cloud ! 

O blessed smelling grass ! 

O bless'd South wind that toots his horn 
Through every hole and crack ! 

I'm off" at eight to-morrow mom 
To bring such fishes back ! 

Chaklks Kingsley, 1856. 

AN ANGLER'S RAMBLES AND ANGLING SONGS 
BY THOMAS TOD STODDART 

Sonnet 

* Anglers I ye are a heartless, bloody race ; ' 
'Tis thus the half-soul'd sentimentalist 
Presumes to apostrophize us to the face. 
Weak, paltry, miserable antagonist ! 
To deem by this compassionate grimace 



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FISHING 261 

He doth sweet service to humanity ; 

And yet, when of his fellow's misery — 

Of wars and pestilence, and the woes that chase 

Mankind to the interminable shore, 

He hears— to treat them with a hasty sneer, 

Nor let their shrill appeal disturb a tear. 

Or one emotion waken in his core I 

It is too much ! Anglers, your cruelty 

Is tenderer than this man's philanthropy ! 



The Taking of the Salmon 



A birr ! a whirr I a salmon's on, 

A goodly fish, a thumper ! 
Bring up, bring up the ready gaff. 
And when we land him we shall quaff 

Another glorious bumper I 
Hark ! 'tis the music of the reel. 

The strong, the quick, the steady : 
The line darts from the circling wheel, 

Have all things right and ready. 



A birr ! a whirr ! the salmon's out 

Far on the rushing river, 
He storms the stream with edge of might, 
And like a brandish'd sword of light, 
Rolls flashing o'er the surges white, 

A desperate endeavour I 
Hark to the music of the reel I 

The fitful and the grating ; 
It pants along the breathless wheel, 

Now hurried, now abating. 

Ill 

A birr ! a whirr ! the salmon's off I 

No, no, we still have got him ; 
The wily fish has sullen grown. 
And, like a bright embedded stone, 

Lies gleaming at the bottom. 
Hark to the music of the reel I 

'Tis hush'd, it hath forsaken ; 
With care we'll guard the slumbering wheel 

Until its notes rewaken. 



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262 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



IV 

A birr ! a whirr ! the salmon's up I 

Give line, give line and measure ; 
And now he turns, keep down a-head, 
And lead him as a child is led, 

And land him at your leisure. 
Hark to the music of the reel ! 

'Tis welcome, it is glorious ; 
It wanders round the exultant wheel, 

Returning and victorious. 




Strike through his gill the ready gaff 



A birr ! a whirr ! the salmon's in, 

Upon the bank extended ; 
The princely fish lies gasping slow, 
His brilliant colours come and go. 
Silver alternating with snow. 

All beautifully blended. 
Hark to the music of the reel ! 

It murmurs and it closes ; 
Silence falls on the conquering wheel, 

The wearied line reposes. 



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FISHING 263 

VI 

No birr ! no whirr ! the sahiion's ours : 

The noble fish, the thumper ! 
Strike through his gill the ready gaff, 
And bending homewards we shall quaff 

The overflowing bumper ! 
Hark to the music of the reel ! 

We listen with devotion ; 
There's something in that circling wheel 

That stirs the heart's emotion 1 

The Pirate of the Lakes 



Gaily rock the lily beds 

On the marge of Lomond lake ; 
There the wandering angler treads. 
Nature round him — all awake, 
Mountains ringing. 
Fountains singing 
Their sweet secrets in the brake. 



Swiftly from the water's edge 

Shoots the fierce pike, wing'd with fear. 
To his lair among the sedge, 

As the intruding form draws near ; 
All elated. 
Primely baited. 
Seeking solitary cheer. 

Ill 

Throbs aloud the eager heart. 

And the hand in tremor moves. 
When some monster, all alert. 
Round the tempting tackle roves ; 
Boldly darmg. 
Or bewaring. 
While the gleamy lure he proves. 

IV 

Then at length each doubt subdued, 
Turns the lake-shark on his prey ; 
Quickly gulp'd the fatal food. 
Suddenly he sheers away, 
All enshackled, 
Firmly tackled. 
Out into the deep'ning bay. 



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264 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



But with steady caution school' d, 
Soon his boasted vigour fails ; 
By the angler's sceptre ruled, 
Maim'd the sullen pirate sails ; 
Shoreward wending, 
Uncontending, 
Him the joyous captor hails. 

VI 

And along the margin haul'd, 
All his fretful fins a- spread. 
Though by ruthless iron gall'd, 
Still he rears his cruel head 
Uncomplaining, 
Death disdaining - 
See him as a trophy led I 



Sonnet 

The fellow-anglers of my youthful days, 
(Of past realities we form our dream,} 
I watch them re-assembling by the stream, 
And on the group with solemn musings gaze : 
For some are lost in life's bewildering haze, 
And some have left their sport and taen to toil, 
And some have faced the ocean's wild turmoil, 
And some — a very few — their olden ways 
By shining lake and river still pursue ; 
Ah I one I gaze on 'mid the fancied band, 
Unlike the rest in years, in gait, in hue — 
Uprisen from a dim and shadowy land — 
Ask what loved phantom fixes my regard, 
Yarrow's late pride, the Angler, Shepherd, Bard ! 



Our Choice 



Where torrents foam. 
While others roam 

Among the Norland heather, 
Some river meek 
W'e'll forth and seek 

And lay our lines together. 



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FISHING 265 



Some sylvan stream 

Where shade and gleam 
Are blending with each other ; 

Below whose bank 

The lilies lank 
All humbler flowers ensmother. 

Ill 

Where cushats coo 

And ring-doves woo 
The shining channelover, 

From leafy larch 

Or birchen arch — 
Their unmolested cover. 

IV 

There daily met, 

No dark regret 
Shall cloud our noon of pleasure I 

We'll carr>' rule 

O'er stream and pool, 
And heap the finny treasure. 



With rare deceits 

And cunning treats, 
Minnow and creeper tender, 

We shall invite 

The scaly wight 
To eye them and surrender. 



And, when sport- worn, 

We'll seek some thorn, 
W^ith shadow cool and ample ; 

The natural ground. 

Moss- laid around. 
An angler's resting temple I 

My Fisher Lad 



I lo'e my ain wee fisher-boy, 

He's bold and bonnie — bonnie an' bold : 
An' aye there is a glint o' joy 

A' nestlin' 'mang his locks o' gold. 



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266 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

II 

His gad is o' the rowan-tree, 
That grows below the castle wa', 

The rowan wi' its bleeze ' o* beads, 

Sae braw and bonnie — bonnie and braw. 

Ill 

His creel is o' the rashes green, 
I waled them wi* a carefu' han'. 

An' pletted them, ae simmer e'en. 

An' croon'd them wi' a luve-knot gran'. 

IV 

I lo'e, I lo'e my fisher lad, 

He's aye sae blate,* and aye sae cheery ; 
I lo'e the sughing o' his gad, 

An' nane but him shall ca' me dearie ! 



I lo'e him for his sunny e'e, 

Sae blue an' sunny — sunny an' blue ; 
There's glitterin' starns 'neath mony a bree,'' 

But nane sae tender or sae true. 

VI 

I lo'e him for his gentle airt, 
Wi' line and angle -angle and line ; 

He's captive ta'en my silly heart 
This bonnie fisher-lad o' mine I 



A Peck o' Troubles 



Gi'e me ma gaud, my guid auld gaud, 
The wan' I lo'e sae rarely ; 

But faith, guidewife, its unco thraw'd, 
Ye haena used it fairly ? 



The bairns I plague talc the thievin' things ! 

They play the very deevil ; 
Wha'd think, they've hash'd my lav' rock- wings, 

An ta'en my mennin-sweevil t 

1 blaze. * gentle. ^ brow. 

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FISHING 267 



III 



They've made sair wark amang the flees, 
There's neither huik nor hackle ; 

What's a' the guid o' brew or breeze 
An' no ae skein o' tackle ? 



IV 



But hinnie, whar's my muckle reel ? 

Gi'e up yer cloots and needle — 
I wudna lose my honest wheel 

For a' the wives in Tweeddale. 



No to the fore ! I micht hae guess'd 

Some ill or ither cam' o't ; 
It's gane the gate o' a' the rest, 

And nane to bear the blame o't. 

VI 

Aweel, aweel I mishaps, we ken, 
Are coupled aye thegither, 

Sae, gudewife, rax us yonner hen- 
She's dainty in the feather. 

VII 

A mawkin lug ^ and tinsey braw,'^ 
Ben in the kist ye'll find them, 

Auld reel and tippets,* aims and a' — 
The aims be shure and mind them I 

VIII 

It gangs a wee agen the grain 
To thole sae mony troubles I 

And yet, gudewife, to ilka ane 
There's graith amang the stubbles. 

IX 

It's neither dole nor deep lament 
Will mend a bodie's grievance ; 

Sae e'en we'll haud ourselves content 
Wi' thae wee bits o' leavins ; 



An' gin a sawmont soom the Tweed 
(The thing's no that unchancy). 

We'll gar the ilka tooth o't bleed. 
May fortune fa the fancy I 

1 hare's ear. * water can. ^ lengths of gut. 



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268 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The Heron-Lake 



The breeze is on the Heron-lake, 
The May-sun shineth clear ; 

Away we bound through the ferny brake, 
With our wands and angling gear. 



The birch-wreath o'er the water edge 

Scatters sweet flies about ; 
And around his haunt of whisp'ring sedge, 

Bells up the yellow trout. 

Ill 

Take heed I take heed I his eye is bright 

As falcon's in the sky ; 
But artful feather hove aright, 

Will hood a keener eye. 

IV 

Beware, beware the water-weed. 
And the birch that weeps behind, 

And gently let the true line speed 
Before thee on the wind. 



Oh ! gently let the good line flow 
And gently wile it home : 

There's many a gallant fin I trow 
Under the ribbM foam. 



A merry fish on a stallion-hair, 

'Tis a pleasant thmg to lead 
On May-days, when the cowslip fair 

Is yellowing on the mead. 

VII 

When the breeze starts up, and the sun peeps out. 

And grey flies two or three 
Hold merry frolic round about. 

Under the green- wood tree. 

VIII 

Oh I then the heart bounds pleasantly, 
And its thoughts are pleasant things. 

Gushing in joyous purity, 
Like mirthful water-springs. 



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FISHING 269 

Sonnet — The Eden 

Thomson I this quiet stream, the song of thought 

Oft in thy bosom rear'd ; and as I steal 

Along its banks, they to my gaze reveal 

The pictures by thy truthful pencil wrought. 

No rash intruder on the rural spot 

I feel, but in that glowing fervour share, 

Which on their page thy far-famed Seasons bear ; 

Nor honoured less is nature, nor less sought 

Her still retreats, while with my wand I fling 

O'er Eden's pools the well-dissembling fly. 

Creating in the mind's fantastic eye 

Castles of Indolence. The sudden spring 

Of a huge trout assails their air-built walls. 

And to the untrench'd earth each hollow fabric falls. 



The Angler's Grave 



I 

Sorrow, sorrow, bring it green ! 

True tears make the grass to grow, 
And the grief of a friend, I ween. 

Is grateful to him that sleeps below. 
Strew sweet flowers, free of blight — 

Blossoms gather*!! in the dew ; 
Should they wither before night, 

Flowers and blossoms bring anew. 

II 
Sorrow, sorrow, speed away 

To our angler's quiet mound ; 
With the old pilgrim twilight grey 

Enter thou on the holy ground. 
There he sleeps whose heart was twined 

With wild stream and wandering burn, 
Wooer of the western wind ! 

Watcher of the April mom I 

III 
Sorrow at the poor man's hearth I 

Sorrow in the hall of pride ! 
Honour waits at the grave of worth. 

And high and low stand side by side. 
Brother angler ! slumber on, 

Haply thou shalt wave the wand, 
W^hen the tide of Time is gone. 

In some far and happier land. 

Thomas Tod Stoddart, Angler's Rambles, 1866. 



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SHOOTING 

The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington 

otherwise called Robin Hood of Merrie 

Sherwodde : etc. 

SONG 

Weepe, weepe, ye wod-men waile, 

Your hands with sorrow wring : 

Your master Robin Hood lies deade, 

Therefore sigh as you sing. 
Here lies his Primer and his beades, 
His bent bowe and his arrowes keene, 
His goode sworde and his holy crosse, 
Now cast on flowers fresh and greene : 
* And as they fall, shed teares and say, 

Wella, wella day, wella, wella day : 

Thus cast yee flowers and sing. 

And on to Wakefield take your way. 

Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle, i6oi. 

The Song of Robin Hood and his 
Huntes-men. 

Now wend we together, my merry men all, 

Unto the Forrest side-a : 
And there to strike a Buck or a Doae, 

Let our cunning all be tride-a. 

Then goe we merrily, merrily on. 
To the Green- wood to take up our stand. 

Where we will lye in waite for our Game, 
With our bent Bowes all in our hand. 



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SHOOTING 

What life is there like to Robin Hood, 

It is so pleasant a thing a : 
In merry Shirwood he spends his dayes, 

As pleasantly as a King a. 

No man may compare with Robin Hood, 
With Robin Hood, Scathlocke, and John : 

Their like was never, nor never will be, 
If in case that they were gone. 



271 








%. 



X. 



Where we will lye in waite for our Game 

They will not away from merry Shirwood, 

In any place else to dwell : 
For there is neither City nor Towne, 

That likes them halfe so well. 

Our lives are wholly given to hunt. 
And haunt the merrie Greene-wood : 

Where our best service is daily spent, 
For our master, Robin Hood 

Anthony Munday, Metropolis Coronata, 1615. 



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272 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

On the Royal Company of Archers, 
shooting for the Bowl, July 6, 1724 

On which Day his Grace James Duke of Hamilton was chosen 
their Captain General ; and Mr. David Drummond their 
Prases won the Prize, 

Again the Year returns the Day, 
That's dedicate to Joy and Play, 

To Bonnets^ Bows^ and Wine. 
Let all who wear a sullen Face, 
This Day meet with a due Disgrace, 

And in their sowrness pine ; 
Be shun'd as Serpents, that wad stang 

The Hand that gi'es them Food : 
Sic we debar frae lasting Sang, 

And all their grumbling Brood. 

While, to gain Sport and halesome Air, 
The blythsome Spirit draps dull Care, 

And starts frae Bus'ness free. 
Now to the Fields the Archers bend. 
With friendly Minds the Day to spend. 

In manly Game and Glee ; 
First striving wha shall win the Bowl, 

And then gar't flow with Wine : 
Sic manly Sport refresh'd the Soul 

Of stalwart Men lang syne. 

E'er Parties thrawn, and Int'rest vile 
Debauch'd the Grandeur of our Isle, 

And made ev'n Brethren Faes ; 
Syne Truth frae Friendship was exil'd, 
And fause the honest Hearts beguil'd, 

And led them in a Maze 
Of Politicks ; with cunning craft. 

The Issachars of State, 
Frae haly Drums first dang us daft, 

Then drown'd us in Debate. 

Drap this unpleasing Thought, dear Muse ; 
Come, view the Men thou likes to roose ; 

To Bruntsfield Green let's hy. 
And see the Royal Bowmen strive, 
Wha far the feather'd Arrows drive, 

All soughing thro' the Sky ; 
Ilk ettling with his utmost Skill, 

With artfu' Draught and stark, 
Extending Nerves with hearty Will, 

In hopes to hit the Mark. 



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"And see the Royal Bowmen strive 
Wha far the feather'd Arrows drive."jigitizedbyCiOOgiC 



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SHOOTING 273 

See Hamilton, wha' moves with Grace, 
Chief of the Caledonian Race 

Of Peers ; to whom is due 
All Honours, and a' fair Renown ; 
Wha lays aside his Ducal Crown, 

Sometime to shade his Brow 
Beneath St. Andrew's Bonnet blew, 

And joins to gain the Prize : 
Which shaws true Merit match'd by few, 

Great, affable and wise. 
This Day, with universal Voice, 
The Archers Him their Chiftain chose ; 

Consenting Powers divine, 
They blest the Day with general Joy, 
By giving him a princely Boy, 

To beautify his Line ; 
Whose Birth-day, in immortal Sang 

Shall stand in fair Record, 
While bended Strings the Archers twang, 

And Beauty is ador'd. 
Next Drummond view, who gives their Law ; 
It glads our Hearts to see him draw 

The Bow, and guide the Band ; 
He, like the Saul of a' the lave. 
Does with sic Honour still behave, 

As merits to command. 
Blyth be his Hours, heal be his Heart, 

And lang may he preside : 
Lang the just Fame of his Desert 

Shall unborn Archers read. 

How on this fair propitious Day, 
With Conquest leal he bore away 

The Bowl victoriously ; 
With following Shafts in Number four, 
Success the like ne'er kend before, 

The Prize to dignify. 
Haste to the Garden then bedeen,' 

The Rose and Laurel pow,* 
And plet a Wreath of white and green. 

To busk the Victor's Brow. 

The Victor crown, who with his Bow, 
In spring of Youth and amorous Glow, 

Just fifty Years sinsyne. 
The Silver Arrow made his Prize, 
Yet ceases not in Fame to rise. 

And with new Feats to shine. 

1 forthwith. * pluck. 

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274 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



May ever>- Archer strive to fill, 

His Bonnet, and observe, 
The Pattern he has set with skill, 

And Praise like him deserve. 

Allan Ramsay. Poems, 1728. 



Away to the Stubbles, away 

Hurrah ! once again for September ! 

Get ready the dogs and the gun I 
And be sure you don't fail to remember 

The whiskey-flask marked No i. 
And boy, above all, don't be sleeping 

When rises the bright star of day. 
For soon as gray morning is peepmg 

We'll haste to the stubbles, away I 







Away to the stubbles, away ! 

With Pero, you'll bring the black setter, 

Nor leave old friend Ponto behind ; 
The sportsman who'd wish for a better, 

I wish he a better may find. 
When the first breeze of morning is shaking 

The dew from the hawthorn's light spray, 
Our course to the fields we'll be taking — 

Away to the stubbles, away ! 



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SHOOTING 

And when we are homeward returning, 

Fatigu'd with the sports of the field, 
Who's he that once knows would be spuming 

The health and the pleasure they yield ? 
If sickness or sorrow come o'er us, 

A fee to no doctor we pay, 
But, shouting *To ho there' in chorus 

We speed through the stubbles away. 

And when not forgetting the duty 

That each to his lady-love owes 
We drain the red wine-cup to beauty, 

And turn to our couch of repose ; 
While others are dreaming of danger, 

We dream of the feats of the day. 
And whistling to Pero or Ranger, 

Still hie through the stubbles away. 



275 



Elegy 



Written on the first of September^ 1763 

When the still night withdrew her sable shroud. 
And left these climes with step sedate and slow ; 
WTiile sad Aurora kerchief'd in a cloud. 
With drizzly vapours hung the mountain's brow ; 

The wretched bird from hapless Perdix sprung 
With trembling wing forsook the furrow'd plain 
And calling round her all her listening young, 
In faltering accents sung this plaintive strain : 

' Unwelcome morn ! too well thy lowering mien 
Foretells the slaughter of the approaching day ; 
The gloomy sky laments with tears the scene 
Where crimson slaughter reassumes her sway. 

* Ah luckless train ! Ah fate devoted race I 
The dreadful tale experience tells believe ; 
Dark heavy mists obscure the morning's face. 
But blood and death shall close the dreary eve. 

* This day fell man, whose unrelenting hate 
No grief can soften, and no tears assuage, 
Pours dire destruction on the feather'd state ; 
While pride and rapine urge his savage rage. 

* I who so oft have scaped the impending snare. 
Ere night arrives, may feel the fiery wound. 

In giddy circles quit the realms of air, 

And stain with streaming gore the dewy ground.' 



Ballad. 



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276 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



She said, when lo ! the pointer winds his prey, 
The rustling stubble gives the feared alarm, 
The gunner views the covy fleet away, 
And rears the unerring tube with skilful arm. 




In vain the mother wings her whirring flight. 
The leaden deaths arrest her as she flies ; 
Her scattered offspring swim before her sight, 
And, bathed in blood, she flutters, pants, and dies. 

Henry Jamks P\e, Farhngdon Hill . . . with Odes, Elegies, etc, 



1778. 



On seeing a wounded Hare limp by me, 
which a Fellow had just shot at, out of 
season & when all of them have young 
ones 

Inhuman man I curse on thy barb'rous art, 
And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye ; 
May never pity soothe thee with a sigh. 

Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart ! 

(jO live, poor wanderer of the wood and field. 
The bitter little that of life remains : 
No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains 

To thee shall home, or food, or pastime yield. 



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SHOOTING 277 

Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted rest. 
No more of rest, but now thy dying bed I 
The sheltering rushes whistling o'er thy head. 

The cold earth with thy bloody bosom prest. 

Oft as by winding Nith 1, musing, wait 
The sober eve, or hail the chearful dawn, 
I'll miss thee sporting o'er the dewy lawn, 

And curse the ruffian's aim, and mourn thy hapless fate. 

R. Bi'RNS, Poems, 1793. 



An Epitaph 



[1792] 

Here lies one, who never drew 
Blood himself, yet many slew ; 
Gave the gun its aim, and figure 
Made in field, yet ne'er pulled trigger. 




Armed men have gladly made 
Him their guide, and him obey'd. 
At his signified desire, 
Would advance, present, and Fire . . 



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278 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Stout he was, and large of limb, 
Scores have fled at sight of him ; 
And to all this fame he rose 
Only following his Nose. 
Neptune was he caird, not He 
Who controls the boist'rous sea, 
But of happier command, 
Neptune of the furrow'd land ; 
And, your wonder vain to shorten, 
Pointer to Sir John Throcktnorton. 

W. Cow PER, Poems, 1815. 

Epigram on Archery 

While fair Thalestris pois'd the shaft. 

How keen the point, she said ; 
And when she saw it lodged, she laugh'd. 

To think the wound it made. 

The arrow's point bites deep, fair maid. 

Replied a friend ; but who. 
Without the softer feather's aid, 

Could aim that arrow true ? 

Thus in your lovely sex we find 

Each charm a pointed dart ; 
But 'tis the softness of the mind 

Must guide it to the heart. 

Sporting Maga zinc , 1 793. 






Snipe Shooting 



When gelid frosts encrust the faded ground, 

And dreary winter clouds the scene around ; 

The timid snipes fly to the sedgy rills, 

Or seek the plashes on the upland hills. 

The sportsman, now, wakes with the gleaming mom, 

His gun makes fit, refills his pouch and horn, 

And to the swampy meadow takes his way, 

With sport and exercise to crown the day. 

See first how curiously he scans the sedge. 

Then warily proceeds along the edge : 

His piece is cock'd, and in position right. 

To meet his shoulder readily and light. 

But yet more cautiously he treads beside 

The well-known plash, where most he thinks to hide 

The dappled bird — and from the rushy stream 

F'righten'd she rises, with a piercing scream. 



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SHOOTING 279 

His tube the fowler points with steady sight, 
And seeks to trace her thro' her rapid flight ; 
Whilst o'er the field she tries each artful wile, 
And crooked turn, his level to beguile. 
Her slender wings swift cut the buoyant air, 
'Till distance gives her as a nmrk more fair : 
Now glancing, just the marksman gets his aim, 
His ready finger doth the trigger strain. 
He fires— the fatal shot unerring flies. 
The Snipe is struck, she flutters, bleeds, and dies. 

sporting A/abating, 1798, 



Different Kinds of Birds which 
abound in Scotland 

The lakes and mountains swarm with copious game ; 

The wildgoose gray, and heathcock hairy-legg'd. 

White soland, that on Bass and Ailsa build ; 

The woodcock slender billed, and marshy snipe, 

The free-bred duck, that scorns the wiles of men. 

Soaring beyond the thunder of the gun ; 

Yet oft her crafty fellow, trained to guile, 

And forging love, decoys her to the snare, 

There witnesses her fate, with shameless brow. 

Why should I here the fruitful pigeon name. 

Or long-necked heron, dread of nimble eels. 

The glossy swan, that loaths to look a-down. 

Or the close covey vexed with various woes ? 

While sad, they sit their anxious mother round. 

With dismal shade the closing net descends ; 

Or, by the sudden gun, they fluttering fall. 

And vile with blood, is stained their freckled down. 

J. Leyden, Scottish Descriptive Poems, 1803. 



The Bowman's Song 

Gay companions of the bower, 

Where inshrined Apollo reigns ; 
Cherish long the social hour, 
That recalls us to these plains ; 
Where unbending 
Cares, and blending 
Honest pastime, dance, and song, 

Ever the golden round extending, 
Smoothly fly the hours along. 



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28o THE POETRY OF SPORT 

O'er the heath in mellow winding, 

Hark I how clear the bugles ring ; 
Ev'ry bowman now reminding 
Sportive morn is on the wing. 
Come, unbending 
Cares, and blending 
Honest pastime, dance, and song. 

Ever the golden round extending, 
Smoothly fly the hours along. 

Twang the bow with lusty sinew, 

Firm and steady to the last ; 
Let each shaft its flight continue, 
In defiance of the blast. 
Thus unbending 
Cares, and blending 
Honest pastime, dance, and song, 

Ever the golden round extending, 
Smoothly fly the hours along. 

\'iew those lovely forms, all glowing 

Bright, and vested like their queen : 
Wood nymphs, who the prize bestowing 
Make the contest still more keen. 
Thus unbending 
Cares, and blending 
Honest pastime, dance, and song, 

Ever the golden round extending. 
Smoothly fly the hours along. 

See them grace the victor's merit. 
With the golden badge of fame ; 
'Tis a bowman's pride to wear it, 
W^hile the arrow bears his name. 
Still unbending 
Cares, and blending 
Honest pastime, dance, and song, 

Ever the golden round extending. 
Smoothly fly the hours along. 

Crown the goblet, freely quafiing. 

Let the purple nectar flow ; 
Bacchus enters, fills, and, laughing, 
Toasts around his brother's bow. 
Thus unbending 
Cares, and blending 
Honest pastime, dance, and song. 

Ever the golden round extending. 
Smoothly fly the hours along. 

The S/torisman's IWai Cabinet, 1830. 



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SHOOTING 281 



The Forester's Carol 

Lusty Hearts ! to the wood, to the merry green wood, 
While the dew with strung pearls loads each blade, 

And the first blush of dawn brightly streams o'er the lawn, 
Like the smile of a rosy-cheeked maid. 

Our horns with wild music ring glad through each shaw, 

And our broad arrows rattle amain ; 
For the stout bows we draw, to the green woods give law. 

And the Might is the Right once again ! 

Mark yon herds, as they brattle and brush down the glade j 

Pick the fat, let the lean rascals go, 
Under favor His meet that we tall men should eat, — 

Nock a shaft and strike down that proud doe ! 

Well delivered, parfay ! convulsive she leaps, — 
One bound more, — then she drops on her side ; 

Our steel hath bit smart the life-strings of her heart, 
And cold now lies the green forest's pride. 

Heave her up, and away I — should any base churl 

Dare to ask why we range in this wood. 
There's a keen arrow yare, in each broad belt to spare. 

That will answer the knave in his blood I 

Then forward, my Hearts I like the bold reckless breeze 

Our life shall whirl on in mad glee ; 
The long bows we bend, to the world's latter end. 

Shall be borne by the hands of the Free ! 

William Motherwell, Poetical Works, 1847. 



Away! to the Woodlands Away! 

Tune : * Away to the Stubbles I ' 

The leaves o'er the lea are careering, 

The last rose of summer is dead ; 
And jocund October is cheering 

His friends with the ale-cup instead. 
Our efforts in vain we redouble. 

The partridge gets wilder each day ; 
The farmer upgathers the stubble — 

Then, let's to the woodlands away. 



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282 THE POETRY QF SPORT 

No sound, but the cry of the plover, 

Is heard, or the wild duck's afar, 
As early we on to the cover, 

The pheasant's gay plumage to mar. 
Let Sloth on his down -bed be rolling, 

Be ours through the meadows to stray, 
All blithe as the carol were trolling — 

* Away ! to the woodlands away I ' 

By the old-holly-bush, where, up-gushing. 

The bum of the valley breaks forth. 
The woodcock, ere long, we'll be flushing, 

The stranger that comes from the North. 
The sports of each season delight us. 

Not less of July than of May ; 
Then why, when October invites us. 

Why not to the woodlands away ? 

At eve, Dash and Rover beside us, . 

What mortals more happy than we ? 
The sorrov/s that yet may betide us, 

Why seek in the distance to see ? 
Enough for the steady and sober 

To antedate winter^s cold ray I 
We'll bumper the glass to October, 

And shout * To the woodlands away 1 ' 

Hknry Brandrkth, The Sportsman, 1833. 

The First of September 

Loiterer, rise I the mom hath kept 
For thee her orient pearls unwept : 
Haste, and take them, while the light 
Hangs on the dew- locks of the night. 
See ! Aurora throws her fair 
Fresh tinted colours through the air : 
Come forth ! come forth ! 'tis very sin 
And profanation to keep in I 
There's joy and gladness in the skies, 
Loiterer, from thy couch arise ! 

Our life is short, our moments run 

Swift as the coursers of the Sun ; 

And, like the vapour or the rain, 

Once lost, can ne'er be traced again : 

Each flower hath wept, and eastward bow'd : 

The skylark, far above the cloud 

To hymn his song of praise is fled, 

And all the birds their matins said ; 

There's joy and gladness in the skies, 

Loiterer, from thy couch arise ! 



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SHOOTING 283 

Haste ere the sun hath drunk the dews 
Boon Nature to her banquet woos : 
Around the smiling field no more 
Are waving with their yellow store, 
Homeward bears the loaded wain 
The golden glories of the plain ! 
And nut-brown partridges are seen 
Gliding among the stubble screen : 
There's joy and gladness in the skies, 
Loiterer, from thy couch arise I 

J. W. C, Sporting Magazine, 1834. 

The Grouse-Shooter's Call 

Come ! where the heather bell, 

Child of the Highland dell, 
Breathes its coy fragrance o'er moorland and lea : 

Gaily the fountain sheen 

Leaps from the mountain green — 
Come to our Highland home, blithsome and free I 

See ! through the gloaming 

The young Morn is coming. 
Like a bridal veil round her the silver mist curl'd, 

Deep as the ruby's rays. 

Bright as the sapphire's blaze. 
The banner of day in the East is unfurl'd. 

The red grouse is scattering 

Dews from his golden wing 
Gemm'd with the radiance that heralds the day ; 

Peace in our Highland vales, 

Health on our mountain gales — 
Who would not hie to the Moorlands away I 

Far from the haunts of man 

Mark the grey Ptarmigan, 
Seek the lone Moorcock, the pride of our dells. 

Birds of the wilderness ! 

Here is their resting place, 
Mid the brown heath where the mountain-roe dwells. 

Come then I the heather bloom 

Woos with its wild perfume. 
Fragrant and blithsome thy welcome shall be ; 

Gaily the fountain sheen 

Leaps from the mountain green — 
Come to our home of the Moorland and lea ! 

J. W. Cy Sporting Magazine, 1834. 



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284 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Hawkstone Bow-Meeting 

' Celeri certare sagittA 
Invitat qui forte velint, et praemia ponit' 

./En, lib. V. 

I 

Farewell to the Dane and the Weaver ! 

Farewell to the horn and the hound I 
The Tarporley Swan, I must leave her 

Unsung till the season come round ; 
My hunting whip hung in a comer, 

My bridle and saddle below, 
I call on the Muse and adorn her 

With bald rick, and quiver, and bow. 



Bright Goddess ! assist me, recounting 

The names of toxophilites here, 
How Watkin came down from the mountain, 

And Mainwaring up from the Mere ; 
Assist me to fly with as many on 

As the steed of Parnassus can take. 
Price, Parker, Lloyd, Kynaston, Kenyon, 

Dod, Cunliffe, Brooke, Owen and Drake. 

Ill 

To witness the feats of the Bowmen, 

To stare at the tent of the Bey, 
Merrie Maidens and ale-drinking Yeomen 

At Hawkstone assemble to-day. 
From the lord to the lowest in station, 

From the east of the shire to the west, 
Salopia's whole population 

Within the green valley compresl. 

IV 

In the hues of the target appearing. 

Now the bent of each archer is seen ; 
The widow to sable adhering. 

The lover forsaken to green ; 
For gold its affection displaying, 

One shaft at the centre is sped ; 
Another a love tale betraying. 

Is aim'd with a blush at the red. 



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SHOOTING 285 



Pride pointing profanely at heaven, 

Humility sweeping the ground, 
The arrow of gluttony driven 

Where ven'son and sherry abound ! 
At white see the maiden un mated 

The arrow of innocence draw, 
While the shaft of the matron is fated 

To fasten its point in the straw, 

VI 

Tell, fated with Gessler to grapple 

Till the tyrannous bailiff was slain, 
Let Switzerland boast of the apple 

His arrow once sever'd in twain ; 
WeVe an Eyton could prove to the Switzer, 

Such a feat were agam to be done, 
Should our host and his lady think fit, Sir, 

To lend us the head of their son ! 

VII 

The ash may be graceful and limber. 

The oak may be sturdy and true ; 
You may search, but in vain, for a timber 

To rival the old British yew ! 
You may roam through all lands, but there's no land 

Can sport such as Salop's afford, 
And the Hill of all Hills is Sir Rowland ! 

The hero of heroes my Lord I 

R. E. Egkrton War burton. 1835. 

The Highland Moors 

The Highland Moors ! the Highland Moors ! 
How blithe on merry Scotland's shores, 

'Mid the heather's perfume 

Wave the banners of bloom 
Of her bonnie purple Moors I 

On the eve of a golden August day. 
When incense distils from the breath of the brae - 
The Eve of the morrow, whose earliest sun 
Shall dawn to the crash of the clanging gun. 
While the startled Grouse and Black-cock spring 
From their dewy couch on whirring wing I - 
How sweet to sit in the snow-white tent. 
Rife with its revel and merriment : 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 




The voice of the City -the tumult of men — 

Lost to the ear, and far from the ken I 

The spaniels around have made their bed 

On the fragrant heath, where the dew pearls are sped 

Sparkles and leaps the diamond rill 

In melody from the far blue hill, 

Till its music is lost in the torrent's din 

That gushes and foams through the rocky linn ! 

Sunset gleams faint in the saffron West, 

The Moor-cock is heard on the wild hill's crest : 

The Curlew pipes shrill from her lone bleak nest 

Away in the misty mountain's breast ; 

As the last warm hues of declining day 
Are mingled and lost in the twilight grey. 
The ray of the sapphire is dim to the star 
That lights with her loveliness sylvan Braemar- 
And listen . . . the voice of the minstrel is there 
In the halls of the Mighty can music compare 
With the melody borne on the mountain air. 
Warbled by night on the moorland bare ! 



The purple Moors I the purple Moors ! 
The Mom is up again, and pours 

With cheek of bloom 

Her fresh perfume 
O'er the bonnie Highland Moors I 

The mountain peaks have caught the Sun, 
The sylvan warfare is begun— 
See, o'er the heath the spaniels range 
With speed of light : anon they change 



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SHOOTING 287 

The track, but still * up wind ' they go, 
They road — they stop — to ho ! to ho ! . . . 
In vain the red brood ply the wing 
As right and left the barrels ring, 
With aim so steady, sight so clear, 
Wo to the firstlings of the year ! 
And ere the noon, with burning ray. 
Shall warn us to a brief delay. 
Full many a mother, red and grey 
Shall rue the shooting of that day. 

Ends not our Highland sporting here — 
Northward we seek the wild dun deer, 
Nor toilsome deem the longest day 
Whose pains the antlered Chief repay. 

Here finishes my sketch. . . . You ask 
Perchance what lured me to my task ? — 
I've lived for Fashion — found her hour 
More brief than Summer's frailest flower : 
I've lived for Love, and known her smile 
Less apt to bless than to beguile : 
I paused and pondered, looked around 
On my past life — and there I found 
The happiest days I ever spent 
Were pass'd beneath a Highland tent. 

J. W. C, Sporting Magazine, August 1835. 



Cephalus and Procris 

A hunter once in that grove reclined, 

To shun the noon's bright eye. 
And oft he wooed the wandering wind, 

To cool his brow with its sigh. 
While mute lay even the wild bee's hum, 

Nor breath could stir the aspen's hair. 
His song was still * Sweet air, oh come ! ' 

While Echo answered, * Come, sweet Air ! ' 

But, hark, what sounds from the thicket rise ! 
What meaneth that rustling spray } 

* 'Tis the white-hom'd doe,' the Hunter cries, 

* I have sought since break of day.' 
Quick o'er the sunny glade he springs. 
The arrow flies from his sounding bow, 

* Hilliho — hilliho I ' he gaily sings, 

While Echo sighs forth * Hilliho ! ' 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Alas, 'twas not the white-hom'd doe 

He saw in the rustling grove, 
But the bridal veil, as pure as snow, 

Of his own young wedded love. 
And, ah, too sure that arrow sped. 

For pale at his feet he sees her lie ; — 
* I die, I die,' was all she said. 

While Echo murmur'd, * I die, I die I ' 

Poetical Works of Thomas Moore, 1840. 




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CRICKET 



Cricketing's All the Rage 

Durham City has been dull so long, 

No bustle at all to show : 
But now the rage of all the throng, 

Is at cricketing to go. 





^^^^^m^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^S^^^^^S^^^^tS^ 


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Long- Field, Long-Stop, Bowl or Bat, 

All different posts engage ; 
Ball struck— not caught— a notch for that, 

O cricketing's all the rage ! 



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290 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Down to the sands then let us hie 

To see the youths at play : 
Perhaps they'll tell the reason why 

There's not a match to-day. 
The noble youths pursue the game 

Through every varied stage ; 
Each breast is panting for its fame, — 

O cricketing's all* the rage I 

Huzza, then, for the Durham lads, 

They've cast their dull array : 
They'd not be known by their own dads, • 

They're now so blithe and gay. 
Bold and fearless - there's the rub 

With challenges to assuage : 
And conquer every rival club, — 

O cricketing's all the rage ! 

Cupid, arch rogue I is also there, 

Amongst the varied throng, 
Pointing to each blushing fair 

Whose lover bowls so long. 
For every blooming nymph stands by 

Her lover's heat to engage ; 
Commends his skill— the reason why, 

O cricketing's all the rage I 

The Game of Cricket 

To live a life, free from gout, pain, and phthisic, 
Athletic employment is found the best physic ; 
The nerves are by exercise hardened and strengthened, 
And vigour attends it by which life is lengthened. 

Derry down, &c. 

What conducts to health deserves recommendation, 
'Twill entail a strong race on the next generation ; 
And of all the field games ever practised or known, 
The cricket stands foremost each Briton must own. 

Derry down, &c. 

Let dull pensive souls boast the pleasures of angling, 
And o'er ponds and brooks be eternally dangling ; 
Such drowsy worm-killers are fraught with delight. 
If but once a week they obtain a fair bite. 

Derry down, &c. 



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CRICKET 291 

The cricketer, noble in mind as in merit, 

A taste for oppression can never inherit, 

A stranger to swindling, he never would wish 

To seduce by false baits, and betray a poor fish. 

Derry down, &c. 

No stings of remorse hurt the cricketer's mind, 
To innocent animals never unkind, 
The guiltless his doctrine is ever to spare. 
Averse to the hunting or killing the hare. 

Derry down, &c. 

We knights of the bat the pure ether respire, 
Which, heightened by toil, keeps cilive Nature's fire ; 
No suits of crim. con. or divorce can assail us. 
For in love, as in cricket, our powers never fail us. 

Derry down, &c. 

To ever>' great duke and to each noble lord. 
Let each fill his glass with most hearty accord ; 
And to all brother knights, whether absent or present. 
Drink health and success from the peer to the peasant. 

Ballad, 



Cricket 

BOOK I 

The Argument of the First Book, — The Subject. Address to the Patron of 
Cricket. A Description of the Pleasures felt at the Approach of the proper 
Season for Cricket, and the Preparations for it. A Comparison Ijetween 
this game and others, particularly Billiards, Bowls, and Tennis. Exhorta- 
tion to Britain to leave all meaner Sports, and cultivate Cricket only, as 
most adapted to the Freedom and Hardiness of its Constitution. The 
Counties most famous for Cricket are dcscrib'd, as vying with one another 
for Excellency. 

While others soaring on a lofty Wing, 
Of dire Bellonc^s cruel Triumphs sing ; 
Sound the shrill Clarion, mount the rapid Car, 
And rush delighted thro' the Ranks of War ; 
My lender Muse, in humbler, milder Strains,' 
Presents a bloodless Conquest on the Plains ; 
Where vigorous Youth, in Life's fresh Bloom resort, 
For pleasing Exercise and healthful Sport. 
Where Emulation fires, where Glory draws, 
And active Sportsmen struggle for Applause ; 
Expert to Bowly to Run, to Stop, to Throw, 
Each Nerve collected at each mighty Blow. 

V 2 



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292 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Hail Cricket I glorious, manly, British game ! 
First of all Sports ! be first alike in Fame I 
To my fii-'d Soul thy busy Transports bring, 
That I may feel thy Raptures, while I sing I 
And thou, kind Patron of the mirthful Fray, 
Sandwich, thy Country's Friend, accept the Lay I 
Tho' mean my Verse, my Subject yet approve, 
And look propitious on the Game you love ! 

When the returning Sun begins to smile, 
And shed its Glories round this sea girt Isle ; 
When new-born Nature deck'd in vivid (ireen, 
Chaces dull Winter from the charming Scene : 
High panting with Delight, the jovial Swain 
Trips it exulting o'er the Flow'r-strew'd Plain ; 
Thy Pleasures, Cricket 1 all his Heart controul ; 
Thy eager Transports dwell upon his Soul : 
He weighs the well-turn'd Bafs experienc'd Force, 
And guides the rapid BalPs impetuous Course, 
His supple Limbs with nimble Labour plies, 
Nor bends the Grass beneath him as he flies. 
The joyous Conquests of the late flown Year, ^ 

In Fancy's Paint, with all their Charms appear, r 

And now again he views the long wish'd Season near, 
O thou, sublime Inspirer of my Song ! 
What matchless Trophies to thy W^orth belong ! 
Look round the Globe, inclin'd to Mirth, and see 
What daring Sport can claim the Prize ifrom thee ! 

Not puny Billiards, where, with sluggish Pace, 
The dull Ball trails before the feeble Mace. 
Where no triumphant Shouts, no Clamours dare 
Pierce thro' the vaulted Roof and wound the Air ; 
But stiff Spectators quite inactive stand, 
Speechless attending to the Striker's Hand : 
Where nothing can your languid Spirits move, 
Save when the Marker bellows out. Six Love ! 
Or when the Ball, dose cushioned, slides askew. 
And to the op'ning Pocket runs, a Cou. 

Nor yet that happier Game, where the smooth Bowl, 
In circling Mazes, wanders to the Goal ; 
Where, much divided between Fear and Glee, 
The Youth cries Rtfb ; O Flee, you IJn^rcr, Flee / 

Not Tennis self, thy sister Sport, can charm. 
Or with thy fierce Delights our Bosoms warm. 
Tho' full of Life, at Ease alone dismay'd, 
She calls each swelling Sinew to her Aid ; 
Her ecchoing Courts confess the sprightly Sound, 
While from the Racket the brisk Balls rebound. 
Yet, to small Space confin'd, ev'n she must yield 
To nobler Cricket, the disputed Field. 

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CRICKET 293 

O Parent Britain I Minion of Renown I 
Whose far-extended Fame all Nations own ; 
Of Sloth-promoting Sports, forewarn'd beware I 
Nor think thy Pleasures are thy meanest Care ; 
Shun with Disdain the squeaking Masquerade, 
Where fainting Vice calls Folly to her Aid. 
Leave the dissolving Song, the baby Dance, 
To soothe the Slaves of Italy and France : 
While the finn Limb, and strong brac'd Nerve are thine. 
Scorn Eunuch Sports ; 10 manlier Games incline ; 
Feed on the Joys that Health and Vigour give ; 
Where Freedom reigns, 'tis worth the while to live. 

Nurs'd on thy Plains, first Cricket learnt to please, 
And taught thy Sons to slight inglorious Ease : 
And see where busy Counties strive for Fame, 
Each greatly potent at this mighty Game I 
Fierce Kent^ ambitious of the first Applause, 
Against the World combin'd asserts her Cause ; 
Gay Sussex sometimes triumphs o'er the Field, 
And fruitful Surry cannot brook to yield. 
While London^ Queen of Cities I proudly vies, 
And often grasps the well- disputed Prize. 

Thus while Greece triumph'd o'er the barbarous Earth, 
Seven Cities struggl'd which gave Homer birth. 

BOOK II 

The Argument of the Second Ik.ok. — Kent challenges all the other Counties. 
The Match determined. A Description of the Place of Contest. The 
particular Qualifications and Kxcellencies of each Player. The Counties 
go in. 

And now the sons of Kent immortal grown, 
By a long Series of acquird Renown, 
Smile at each weak Attempt to shake their Fame ; 
And thus with vaunting I'ride, their Might proclaim. 
Long have we bore the Palm, triumphant still. 
No County fit to match our wond'rous Skill : 
But that all tamely may confess our Sway, 
And own us Masters of the glorious Day ; 
Pick the best Sportsmen from each several Shire^ 
And let them, if they dare, 'gainst Us appear : 
Soon will we prove the Mightiness we boast, 
And make them feel their Error, to their Cost. 

Fame quickly gave the bold Defiance vent. 
And magnify'd th' undaunted Sons of Kent, 
The boastful Challenge sounded far and near ; 
And spreading, reach'd at length Cireat N 's Ear: 



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294 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Where, with his Friend, all negligent he laugh'd, 
And threatened future (ilories, as they quaff'd. 
Struck with the daring Phrase, a piercing Look 
On B n first he cast, and thus he spoke. 

And dare the Slaves this paltry Message own 1 

What then is N ^s Arm no better known ? 

Have I for this the Ring's wide Ramparts broke ? 

Whilst R y shudder'd at the mighty Stroke. 

Now by Alcmemis sinew'd Son, I swear, 

Whose dreadful Blow no mortal Strength can bear I 

By Hermes^ Offspring too of thund'ringy^^v I 

Whose winged Feet like nimble Lightning move I 

By ev'ry Patron of the pleasing War, 

My chief Delight, my Glory and my Care I 

This Arm shall cease the far-driv'n Ball to throw, 

Shrink from the Bat and feebly shun the Blow ; 

The Trophies, from this conq'ring Forehead torn, 

By Boys and Women shall in Scorn "be worn ; 

E'er I neglect to let these Blust'rers know. 

There live who dare oppose, and beat them too. 

Illustrious B n I Now's the Time to prove 

To Cricket's Charms thy much experienc'd Love. 
Let us with Care, each hardy Friend inspire I 
And fill their Souls with emulating Fire ! 
Come on. . . . True Courage never is dismay'd. 
He spoke. . . . The Hero listcn'd, and obey'd. 

Urg'd by their Chiefs, the Friends of Cricket hear, 
And joyous in the fated Lists appear. 
The Day approach'd. To view the charming Scene, 
Exulting Thousands croud the Icvell'd Green. 

A place there is, where City- Warriors meet, 
Wisely determin'd, not to fight, but eat. 
Where harmless Thunder rattles to the Skies, 
While the plump Buff-coat fires, and shuts his Eyes. 
To the plcas'd Mob the bursting Cannons tell 
At ev'ry circ'ling Glass, how much they swill. 
Here, in the Intervals of Bloodless War, 
The Swains with milder Pomp their Arms prepare. 
Wide o'er th' extended Plain, the circling String 
Restrains th' impatient Throng, and marks a Ring. 
But if encroaching on forbidden Ground, 
The heedless Croud o'erleaps the proper Bound ; 

.S' /// plies, with strenuous Arm, the smacking Whip, 

Back to the Line th' affrighted Rebels skip. 

The Stumps arc pitchd. Each Heroe now is seen, 
Springs o'er the Fence, and bounds along the Green 



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CRICKET 29S 

In decent White, most gracefully array'd, 
Each strong-built Limb in all its Pride display'd. 

Now Muse, exert thy Vigour, and describe 
The mighty Chieftains of each glorious Tribe I 

Bold R y first, before the Kentish Hand 

God-like appeared, and seiz'd the chief Command. 
Judicious Swain ! whose quick- discerning Soul 
Observes the various Seasons as they roll. 
Well-skill'd to spread the thriving Plant around ; 
And paint with ifragrant Flow'rs th' enamell'd Ground. 
Conscious of Worth, with Front erect he moves, 
And poises in his Hand the Bat he loves. 
Him Dorset^ s Prince protects, whose youthful Heir 
Attends with ardent Glee the mighty Pla/r. 
He, at Mid-wicket, disappoints the Foe ; 
Spnngs at the coming Ball and mocks the Blow. 
Ev'n thus the Rattle-Snake, as Travlers say. 
With stedfast Eye observes it's destin'd Prey ; 
Till fondly gazing on the glitt'ring Balls, 
Into her Mouth th' unhappy Victim falls. 
The baffled Hero quits his Bat with Pain, 
And mutt'ring lags across the shouting Plain. 

Brisk H /next strides on with comely Pride, 

Tough as the subject of his Trade, the Hide. 
In his firm Palm, the hard-bound Ball he bears. 
And mixes joyous with his pleas'd Compeers. 

Bromlean M s attends the Kentish Throng ; 

And R ~-n from his Size, sumam'd the Long, 
Six more, as ancient Custom has thought meet, 
With willing Steps, th' intrepid Band compleat. 
On th' adverse Party, tow'ring o'er the rest. 

Left-handed N- d fires each arduous Breast. 

From many a bounteous Crop, the foodful Grain 
With swelling Stores rewards his useful Pain : 
WTiile the glad Farmer, with delighted Eyes, 
Smiles to behold his close-cram'd Gran'ries rise. 

Next B n came, whose cautious Hand could fix 

In neat disposed Array the well-pil'd Bricks : 
With him, alone, scarce any Youth wou'd dare 
At single Wicket, try the doubtful War. 
For fe^v, save him, th' exalted Honour claim 
To play with Judgment, all the various Game. 

Next, his accomplish'd Vigour, C -y tries ; 

W^hose shelt'ring Hand the neat-form'd Garb supplies. 

To the dread Plain her D e Surry sends. 

And W k on the jovial Train attends. 

Equal in Numbers, bravely they begin 
The dire Dispute. — The Foes of Kent go in. 



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296 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

BOOK III 

The Argument of tke Third Book. — The Game. Five on the Side of the 
Counties are out for three Notches. The Odds run high on the Side of 
Kent. Bryan and Newiand go in ; they help the Game gready. Bryan is 
unfortunately put out by Kips. Kent, the first Innings, is Thirteen 
a-head. The Counties go in again, and get Fifty-seven a-head. Kent, in 
the Second Innings, is very near losing, the two last men being in. Wey- 
mark unhappily misses a Catch, and by that means Kent is victorious. 

With wary Judgment, scatter'd o'er the (ireen, 
Th' ambitious Chiefs of fruitful Kent are seen. 
Some, at a Distance, for the Long Ball wait, 
Some, nearer planted, seize it from the Bat. 

H /and M s behind the Wickets stand, 

And each by Turns, the flying Ball command : 

Four times from H Ps Arm it skims the Grass ; 

Then M s succeeds. The Seekers-out change Place. 

Observe, cries H- /, to the wond'ring Throng, 
Be Judges now, whose Arms are better strung I 
He said — then pois'd, and rising as he threw, 
Swift from his Arm the fatal Missive flew. 
Nor with more Force the Death conveying Ball, 
Springs from the Cannon to the batter'd Wall ; 
Nor swifter yet the pointed Arrows go, 
Launch'd from the Vigour of the Parthian Bow. 
It whizz'd along, with unimagin'd Force, 
And bore down all, resistless in its Course. 
To such impetuous Might compell'd to yield 
The Bail^ and mangled Stumps bestrew the Field. 

Now glows with ardent Heat th' unequal Fray, 
While Kent usurps the Honours of the Day ; 
Loud from the Ring resounds the piercing Shout, 
Three Notches only gain'd, five Leaders out. 

But while the drooping Playr invokes the Gods, 
The busy Better calculates his Odds^ 
Swift round the Plain, in buzzing Murmurs run. 
Til hold you Ten to F'our^ KenL- -Done Sir. Done, 

What Numbers can with equal Force, describe 
Th' increasing Terrors of the losing Tribe I 
When, vainly striving 'gainst the conq'ring Ball, 
They see their boasted Chiefs, dejected fall ! 
Now the two mightiest of the fainting Host 
Pant to redeem the Fame their Fellows lost. 
Eager for (ilory ; — For the worst prepared ; 
With pow'rful Skill, their threat'ned Wickets guard. 

B /;, collected for the deadly Stroke, 

First cast to Heaven a supplicating Look ; 



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CRICKET 297 

Then pra/d. —Propitious PowVs ! Assist my BlaWy 
And grant the flying Orb may shock the Foe I 
This said ; he wav'd his Bat with forceful Swing, 
And drove the batter'd Pellet o'er the Ring. 
Then rapidyfz/^ titties cross'd the shining Plain, 
E'er the departed Ball return'd again. 

Nor was thy Prowess valiant N //, mean, 

Whose strenuous Arm increas'd the Game eighteen ; 
While from thy Stroke, the Ball retiring hies, 
Uninterrupted Clamours rend the Skies. 
But oh, what horrid Changes oft' are seen, 
When faithless Fortune seems the most serene ! 

Beware, unhappy B n / oh beware ! 

Too heedless Swain, when such a Foe is near. 
Fir'd with Success, elated with his Luck, 
He glow'd with Rage, regardless how he struck ; 
But, forc'd the fatal Negligence to mourn, 

K s crush'd his Stutnps^ before the Youth could turn. 

The rest their unavailing X'igour try. 
And by the PowV of A>«A demolish'd die. 
Awakened Eccho speaks the Itinings o'er. 
And forty Notches deep indent the Score. 

Now Kent prepares her better Skill to shew ; 
Loud rings the Ground, at each tremendous Blow. 
With nervous Arm, performing God-like Deeds, 
Another, and another Chief succeeds ; 
'Till, tired with Fame, the conq'ring Host give Way ; 
And head by thirteen Strokes, the toilsome Fray. 

Fresh rous'd to Arms, each Labour-loving Swain 
Swells with new Strength, and dares the Field again 
Again to Heai/n aspires the Chearful Sound ; 
The Strokes re-eccho o'er the spacious Ground. 
The Champion strikes. When, scarce arriving fair. 
The glancing Ball mounts upwards in the Air ? 
The Batsman sees it, and with mournful Eyes, 
Fix'd on th' ascending Pellet as it flies, 
Thus suppliant Claims the Favour of the Skies. 
O mighty y<7Z/^ / and all ye Pow'rs above I 
Let my regarded Pray'r your pity move I 
(irant me but this. Whatever Youth shall dare 
Snatch at the Prize, descending thro' the Air ; 
Lay him extended on the grassy Plain, 
And make his bold, ambitious Effort vain. 

He said. The Powers, attending his Request 
Granted one Part, to Winds consign'd the rest. 

And now Illustrious 5 e^ where he stood, 

Th' approaching Ball with cautious Pleasure view'd ; 



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298 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

At once he sees the Chiefs impending Doom 
And pants for mighty Honours, yet to come : 
Swift as the Falcon^ darting on its Prey, 
He springs eUastick o'er the verdant Way ; 
Sure of Success, flies upward with a Bound, 
Derides the slow Approach, and spurns the Ground. 

The Counties now the Game triumphant lead, 
And vaunt their Numbers fifty- seven a Head. 

To end th' immortal Honours of the Day 
The Chiefs of Kent ^ once more, their Might essay ; 
No trifling Toil ev'n yet remains untr/d. 
Nor mean the Numbers of the adverse Side. 
With doubled Skill each dang'rous Ball they shun, 
Strike with observing Eye, with Caution run. 
At length they know the wish'd for Number near, 
Yet wildly pant, and almost own they fear. 
The two last Champions even now are in, 
And but three Notches yet remain to win. 
When, almost ready to recant it's Boast, 
Ambitious Kent within an Ace had lost ; 
The mounting Ball, again obliquely driv'n. 
Cuts the pure y'£'//z^r, soaring up to Heav'n. 

W k was ready : W /', all must own, 

As sure a Swain to catch as e'er was known ; 

Yet, whether yiw^, and all-compelling Fate, 

In their high Will determin'd Kent should beat ; 

Or the lamented Youth too much rely d 

On sure Success, and Fortune often try'd. 

The erring Ball, amazing to be told I 

Slip'd thro' his out-stretch'd Hand, and mock'd his Hold. 

And now the Sons of Kent compleat the Game, 
And firmly fix their everlasting Fame. 

Jamks Love, ./// Heroic Poem, Illustrated ivith the Critical 
Ohi'/i'dlions of Scriblerus Maximus {1765 ?) 

Surry Triumphant, or the Kentish- 
Mens Defeat 

God prosper long our harvest-work. 

Our rakes and hay-carts all I 
An ill-tim'd cricket match there did 

At Bishopsboum befall. 

To bat and bowl with might and main 

Two Nobles took their way ; 
The hay may rue, that is unhous'd 

The batting of that day. 



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CRICKET 299 

The active Earl of Tankei-ville 

An even bet did make. 
That in Bourn paddock he would cause 

Kent's chiefest hands to quake ; 

To see the Surry cricketers 

Out-bat them and out-bowl. 
To Dorset's Duke the tidings came, 

All in the park of Knowle : 

Who sent his Lordship present word, 

He would prevent his sport. 
The Surry Earl, not fearing this, 

Did to East Kent resort ; 

With ten more masters of the bat, 

All chosen men of might, 
Who knew full well, in time of need, 

To aim or block aright. 

[From Marsh and Weald, their hay-forks left, 

To Bourn the rustics hied. 
From Romney, Cranbrook, Tenterden, 

And Darent's verdant side : 

Gentle and simple, 'squires and clerks, 

With many a lady fair, 
Fam'd Thanet, Fowell's beauteous bride. 

And graceful Sondes were there.] 

The Surry sportsmen chose the ground, 

The ball did swiftly fly ; 
On Monday they began to play, 

Before the grass was dry ; 

And long ere supper-time they did 

Near fourscore notches gain ; 
Then having slept, they, in their turn, 

Stopp'd, caught, and bowl'd amain. 

The fieldmen, station'd on the lawn, 

Well able to endure. 
Their loins with snow-white sattin vests, 

That day had guarded sure. 

Full fast the Kentish wickets fell, 

W^hile Higham house and mill, 
And Barham's upland down, with shouts 

Did make an echo shrill. 

Sir Horace from the dinner went. 

To view the tender ground ; 
Quoth he, * This last untoward shower 

Our stumps has almost drown'd : 



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300 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

* If that I thought, 'twould not be dry, 

No longer would I play.' 
With that, a shrewd young gentleman 
Thus to the Knight did say : 

* Lo I yonder doth the sun appear, 

And soon will shine forth bright, 
The level lawn and slippery ground 
All drying in our sight. 

* Not bating ev'n the river banks 

Fast by yon pleasant mead.' 
*Then cease disputing,' Lumpey said, 
* And take your bats with speed : 

* And now with me, my countrymen, 

Let all your skill be shown. 
For never was there bowler yet. 
In Kent or Surry known, 

* Tnat ever did a bale dislodge. 
Since first I play'd a match. 

But I durst wager, hand for hand. 
With him to bowl or catch.' 

Young Dorset, like a Baron bold. 

His jetty hair undrest, 
Ran foremost of the company, 

Clad in a milk-white vest : 

* Shew me,' he said, * one spot that's dry. 

Where we can safely run ; 
Or else, with my consent, we'll wait 
To-morrow's rising sun.' 

The man that first did answer make 

W^as noble Tanker vi lie ; 
Who said, * To play, I do declare, 

There only wants the will : 

* Move but the stumps, a spot I'll find 

As dry as' Farley's board.' • 

* Our records,' quoth the Knight, * for this 

No precedent afford. 

* Ere thus I will out-braved be, 

All hazards I'll defy : 
I know thee well, an Earl thou art ; 
And so not yet am I. 

' But trust me, Charles, it pity were, 

And great offence, to kill 
W'ith colds or sprains, these harmless men, 

For they have done no ill. 

1 The Master of the Ordinarv. 



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CRICKET 301 

* Let us at single wicket play, 

And set our men aside.' 

* Run out be he/ reply'd the Earl, 

* By whom this is deny'd ! ' 

Then stept a gallant 'squire forth, 

Bartholomew was his name, 
Who said, * I would not have it told 

On Clandon down for shame, 

* That Tankerville e'er play'd alone, 

And I stood looking on : 
You are a Knight, Sir, you an Earl, 
And I a vicar's son : 

* I'll do the best that do I may. 

While I have pow'r to stand ; 
While I have pow'r to wield my bat, 
I'll play with heart and hand.' 

The Surry bowlers bent their backs. 

Their aims were good and true. 
And every ball that 'scap'd the bat, 

A wicket overthrew. 

To drive the ball beyond the booths, 

Duke Dorset had the bent ; 
Woods, mov'd at length with mickle pride. 

The stumps to shivers sent. 

They ran full fast on every side. 

No slackness there was found ; 
And many a ball that mounted high. 

Ne'er lighted on the ground. 

In truth, it was a grief to see. 

And likewise for to hear, 
The cries of odds that offer'd were, 

And slighted every where. 

At last. Sir Horace took the field, 

A batter of great might ; 
Mov'd like a lion, he awhile 
Put Surry in a fright : 

He swung, 'till both his arms did ach, 

His bat of season'd wood, 
'Till down his azure sleeves the sweat 

Ran trickling like a flood. 

* Hedge now thy bets,' said Tankerville, 

* I'll then report of thee. 

That thou art the most prudent Knight 
That ever I did see.' 



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302 • THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Then to the Earl the Knight reply'd 

* Thy counsel I do scorn ; 

I with no Surry-man will hedge 
That ever yet was born.' 

With that, there came a ball most keen, 

Out of a Surry hand, 
He struck it full, it mounted high. 

But, ah ! ne'er reach'd the land. 

Sir Horace spoke no words but these, 

* Play on, my merry men all ; 
For why, my inning's at an end ; 

The Earl has caught my ball.' 

Then by the hand his Lordship took 

This hero of the match, 
And said, * Sir Horace, for thy bets 

Would I had miss'd my catch I 

'In sooth, my very heart doth bleed 
With sorrow for thy sake ; 

For sure, a more good-tempcr'd Knight 
A match did never make.' 

A 'Squire of Western Kent there was 
W^ho saw his friend out-caught, 

And straight did vow revenge on him 
Who this mischance had wrought : 

A Templar he, who, in his turn, 
Soon as the Earl did strike 

Ran swiftly from his stopping-place. 
And gave him like for like. 

Full sharp and rapid was the ball, 
Yet, without dread, or fear. 

He caught it at arm's length, and straight, 
Return'd it in the air : 

With such a vehement force and might. 

It struck his callous hand. 
The sound re-echo'd round the ring, 

Through eveiy booth and stand. 

So thus were both these heroes caught. 
Whose spirit none could doubt. 

A Surry Squire, who saw, with grief, 
The Earl so quickly out. 

Soon as the Templar, with his bat. 

Made of a trusty tree. 
Gave such a stroke, as, had it 'scap'd 

Had surely gain'd him three ; 



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CRICKET 303 

Against this well-intended ball 

His hand so rightly held, 
That, ere the foe could ground his bat, 

His ardour Lewis quell'd. 

This game did last from Monday morn 

Till Wednesday afternoon, 
P'or when Bell ^ Harr)' rung to prayers, 

The batting scarce was done. 
With good Sir Horace, there was beat 

Hussey of Ashford town, 
Davis, for stops and catches fam'd, 

A worthy Canon's son ; 

And with the Mays, both Tom and Dick, 

Two hands of good account, 
Simmons was beat, and Miller too. 

Whose bowling did surmount. 

For Wood of Scale needs must I wail. 

As one in doleful dumps. 
For if he e'er should play again, 

It must be on his stumps. 

And with the Earl the conquering bat 

Bartholomew did wield, 
And slender Lewis, who, though sick. 

Would never leave the field. 

White, Yalding, Woods, and Stevens too, 

As Lumpey better known. 
Palmer, for batting well esteem'd, 

Childs, Francis, and 'Squire Stone. 

Of byes and overthrows but three. 

The Kentish heroes gain'd. 
And Surry victor on the score. 

Twice seventy-five remain'd. 

Of near three hundred notches made 

By Surry, eight were byes ; 
The rest were balls, which, boldly struck, 

Re-echo'd to the skies I 

Their husbands woful case that night 

Did many wives bewail. 
Their labour, time, and money lost, 

But all would not prevail. 

Their sun-burnt cheeks, though bath'd in sweat, 

They kiss'd, and wash'd them clean. 
And to that fatal paddock begg'd 

They ne'er would go again. 

1 At Canterbury Cathedral. 



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304 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



To Sevenoak town this news was brought 

Where Dorset has his seat, 
That, on the Nalebourn's banks, his Grace 

Had met with a defeat. 

* O heavy news I ' the Rector said, 

' The Vine can witness be, 
We have not any cricketer 
Of such account as he.' 

Like tidings in a shorter space. 

To Barham's Rector came, 
That in Bourn-paddock knightly Mann 

Had fairly lost the game. 

' Now rest his bat,' the Doctor said, 

* Sith 'twill no better be ; 
I trust we have, in Bishopsboum, 

Five hands as good as he. 

* Yet Surry-men shall never say, 

But Kent return will make, 
And catch or bowl them out at length. 
For her Lieutenant's sake.' 

This vow, 'tis hop'd, will be perform'd, 

Next year, on Laleham down ; 
When, if the Kentish hearts of oak 

Recover their renown. 

From grey goose- wing some bard, I trust, 

Will pluck a stouter quill : 
Thus ended the fam'd match of Bourn, 

Won by Earl Tankerville. 

God save the King, and bless the land 

With plenty and increase ; 
And grant henceforth that idle games 

In harvest time may cease I 

Ballad, 



^773- 



Extract from the 'Kentish (iiizettc' of Saturday, y/'/y 24, 1773. 

The following is a List of the Noblemen and Gentlemen Cricketers, who 
played on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last, in Bourn- Paddock, Surry 
against Kent, for Two Thousand Pounds : 

Those marked thus B urrc bowled out 



Names 
Lord Tankerville 
Mr. Bartholomew 
Mr. Lewis . . 
Mr. Stone . . 



SUKKV 
by \ 

B. out by May . . 

C. out by Simmons . 
B. out by the Duke . 
B. out by the Duke . 



C catched out. 



Out by whom 2d 

C. out by Mr. Davis . 3 

B. out by Miller . . lo 

Last Man in ... 21 

B. out by Miller . . 24 



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CRICKET 



305 



Names Out by whom 

Stevens, alias Lumpey B. out by Miller . 
John Woods . . . C. out by Sir H. Mann 
C. out by Mr. Davis 
B. out by the Duke . 
Last Man in . . . 
B. out by May . . 
B. out by the Duke . 
Byes . 



Palmer 
Thomas White 
Yaldin . . . 
Childs . . . 
Francis . . 



ISt 


Out by whom 


2d 


. 6 


B. out by Miller . . 


8 


1 6 


C, out by R, May 


6 


. 22 


C. out by the Duke . 


38 


■ 5 


C. out by Mr. Husse> 


60 


. 17 


B. out by the Duke . 


X 





B. out by the Duke . 


^ 


• 5 


C. out by Wood . . 


36 


I 


Byes . . 


7 



T7 



217 



Names 
Duke of Dorset . 
Sir Horace Mann 

Mr. Davis . . 
Mr. Hussey . . 



Kent 

Out by whom 
B. out by Woods . 
B. out by Woods , 

B. out by Woods . 
Last Man in . . . 



Miller C. out by Yaldin 

Simmons . . . . B. out by Lumpey . 

R. May .... b. out by Woods . 

Thomas May . . B. out by Lumpey . 

Louch C. out by Mr. Stone 

Pattenden . . . C. out by Mr. Lewis 

Wood of Scale . . C. out by Woods . 

Byes . 



xst 

25 

3 



Out by whom ad 

B. out by Woods . . i 

C. out by L. Tanker- 
ville 22 

C. out by Mr. Lewis o 
B. out by Woods . . o 



13 Run out 10 

5 C. out by Yaldin . . 4 

o Last Man in ... o 

4 C. out by Childs . .^ 5 

5 B. out by Lumpey . 26 

I B. out by Lumpey . i 

1 C. out by Mr. Bartho- 

lomew • • • ." 9 

3 , Byes . .0 

63 , 78 




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VARIOUS 
Hawking for the Partridge 

Sith Sickles and the sheering Syihe, hath shornethe Feilds of late, 
Now shall our Hawkes and we be blythe, Dame Partridge ware your 
pate : 




Our murdring Kttes^ in all their flights^ will sild or never never 

never seld or never misse. 
To trusse you ever ever ever ever, and make your bale our blisse, 
Whur ret Duty^ whur ret Beauty ret, whur ret L(n>e^ whur ret, hey 

dogs hey. 



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VARIOUS 307 

Ware haunt, hey Sempster^ ret Faver^ ret Minx^ ret Dido^ ret 
Civilly ret Lemmon^ ret whur whur, let flie let flie. 

O well flowne well flowne eager Kiie^ marke, marke^ O marke 
belowe the Ley, 

This was a fayre, most fayre and kingly flight, 

We Falkners thus make sullen Kites yeeld pleasure fit for Kings, 

And sport with them and in those delights, and oft, and oft in other 
things, and oft in other things. 

Thomas RXvenscroft, A Brief Discourse of Dcgres, 1614. 



Country Pastimes 



There were three Ravens sat on a tree, 
Downe a downe, hay down, hay downe. 

There were three Ravens sat on a tree, 
with a downe. 

There were three Ravens sat on a tree, 

They were as blacke as they might be, 

With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe. 

II 

The one of them said to his mate, 

down adowne hey downe. 
The one of them said to his mate, 

with adowne : 
The one of them said to his mate 
W^here shall we our breakfast take ? 

with adowne dery downe. 

Ill 

Downe in yonder greene field, 

downe adowne hey downe, 
Downe in yonder greene field, 

with adowne. 
Downe in yonder greene field 
There lies a Knight slain under his shield, 

with a downe. 

IV 

His hounds they lie downe at his feetc, 

downe adowne hey downe. 
His hounds they lie downe at his feete, 

with adow^ne. 
His hounds they lie downe at his feete 
So well they can their Master keepe, 

with adowne 



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3o8 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



His Haukes they flie so eagerly 

downe adowne. 
His Haukes they flie so eagerly 

with adowne. 
His Haukes they flie so eagerly ; 
There's no fowle dare him come nie, 

with a downe. 

VI 

Downe there comes a fallow Doe, 

downe adowne. 
Downe there comes a fallow Doe 

with a downe. 
Downe there comes a fallow Doe, 
As great with yong as she might goe 

with adowne. 

Yll 

She lift up his bloudy hed, 

downe adowne. 
She lift up his bloudy hed, 

with a downe. 
She lift up his bloudy hed, 
And kist his wounds that were so red 

with a downe. 

VIII 

She got him up upon her backe, 

downe adowne. 
She got him up upon her backe, 

with adowne. 
She got him up upon her backe, 
And carried him to earthen lake 

with adowne downe. 

IX 

She buried him before the prime, 

downe adowne. 
She buried him before the prime, 

with adowne. 
She buried him before the prime, 
She was dead her selfe ere even-song time 

with adowne. 



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VARIOUS 309 



God send every gentleman 

down adowne. 
God send every gentleman 

with adowne. 
God send every gentleman 
Such haukes, such hounds, and such a Leman 

with adowne. 

Thomas Ravenscroft, Melismata, 161 1. 

Hide Parke 

A Cotnedie^ as it was presented by her Majesties Servants, at the 
private house in Drury Lane. 

ACT IV. THE SONG. 



Come Muses all that dwell nigh the fountaine, 

Made by the winged horses heele, 

Which firk*d with his rider over each Mountaine, 

Let me your galloping raptures feele. 
I doe not sing of fleas, or frogges, 
Nor of the well mouth'd hunting dogges. 

Let me be just all praises must, 

Be given to well breath'd lilian Thrust. 



Young Constable and kill deeres famous, 
The Cat the Mouse and Noddy Gray, 
With nimble Pegabrig you cannot shame us, 
With Spaniard nor with Spinola. 

Hill climing white- rose, praise doth not lacke, 
Hansome Dunbar, and yellow Jack. 
But if I be just all praises must. 
Be given to well breath'd lilian Thrust. 

Ill 

Sure spurr'd Sloven, true running Robin, 
Of young shaver I doe not say lesse, 
Strawbery Soame, and let Spider pop in, 
Fine Brackly and brave lurching Besse. 

Victorious too, was herring shotten. 

And .... is not forgotten. 
But if I be just all honour must 
Be given to well breath'd lilian Thrust. 



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310 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

IV 

Lusty Gorge and gentlemen, harke yet, 
To wining Mackarell fine mouthM Freake, 
Bay Tarrall what won the cup at Newmarket, 
Thundring tempest, black dragon eake. 
Pretious sweetelippes, I doe not lose, 
Nor Toby with his golden shoes. 
But if I be just, all honour must. 
Be given to well breath'd lilian Thrust. 

James Shirley, 1637. 



Cock-Throwing 



Cocke a doodle-doe, tis the bravest game. 

Take a Cocke from his Dame, 

And bind him to a stake. 

How he struts^ how he throweSy 

How he swaggers^ how he crowes^ 

As if the Day newly brake. 

How his Mistris cackles. 

Thus to find him in shackles ^ 

And tyed to a Packe- thread Garter ? 

Oh the Beares and the Bulls^ 

Are but Corpulent Gulls 

To the Valiant Shrove- Tide Martyr : 

M. Llewellyn, Men Miracles, 1646. 



The Orders in Verse, as I found them 
fram'd for a very ancient Billiard Table 

1. The Leading-ball the upper end mayn't hit ; 
For if it doth, it loseth one by it. 

2. The Follower with the King lie even shall 
If he doth pass or hit the others ball ; 

Or else lose one : the like if either lay 

Their arm or hand on board when they do play. 

3. That man wins one who with the others ball 
So strikes the King that he doth make him fall. 

4. If striking at a hazard both run in. 

The ball struck at thereby an end shall win. 

5. He loseth one that down the Port doth fling ; 
The like doth he that justles down the King. 

6. He that in play the adverse ball shall touch 
With stick, hand, or cloaths forfeits just as much. 



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VARIOUS 311 

7. And he that twice hath past shall touch the King, 
The other not past at all shall two ends win. 

8. If both the balls over the Table flie, 
The striker of them loseth one thereby. 
And if but one upon the board attend, 
The striker still the loser of the end. 

9. One foot upon the ground must still be set, 
Or one end*s lost if you do that forget : 
And if you twice shall touch a ball e're He 
Hath struck between an end for him is free. 

10. If any Stander-by shall chance to bet, 
And will instruct, he then must pay the set. 

1 1. The Port or King being set, who moves the same 
With hand or stick shall lose that end or Game. 

1 2. He that can touch being past, or strike the other 
Into the Hazard is allowed another. 

13. If any Stander-by shall stop a ball, 

The Game being lost thereby he pays for all. 

14. If any past be stricken back again, 

His pass before shall be accounted vain. 

15. He that breaks anything with violence, 

King, Port, or Stick is to make good th' offence. 

16. If any not the Game doth fully know 
May ask another whether it be so. 
Remember also when the Game you win. 
To set it up for fear of wrangling. 

17. He that doth make his ball the King light hit, 
And holes th* other scores two ends for it. 

The Complete Gamester, 1680. 



The Last Dying Words of Bonny Heck 

A FAMOUS GREYHOUND IN THE SHIRE OF FIFE 

Alas, alas, quo' bonny Heck^ 
On former Days when I reflect ! 
I was a Dog much in Respect 

For doughty Deed : 
But now I must hing by the Neck 

Without Remeed. 

O fy, Sirs, for black burning Shame, 
Ye'll bring a Blunder on your Name I 
Pray tell me wherein I'm to blame ? 

Is't in Effect, 
Because I'm Criple, Auld and Lame, 

Quo' bonny Heck, 



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312 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

What great Feats I have done my Sel 
Within Clink of Kilrenny Bell, 
When I was Souple, Young and Fell * 

But Fear or Dread : 
John Ness and Paterson can tell, 

Whose Hearts may bleid. 

They'll witness that I was the Vi 
Of all the Dogs within the Shire, 
rd run all Day, and never tyre 

but now my Neck 
It must be stretched for my Hyre, 

quo' bonny Heck. 

How nimbly could I turn the Hair, 
Then serve my self, that was right fair ! 
For still it was my constant Care 

the Van to lead. 
Now, what could fery * Heck do mair, 

syne kill her dead ? 

At the King*s-Muir^ and Kelly-law^ 
Where good stout Hairs gang fast awa. 
So cliverly I did it Claw, 

with Pith and Speed : 
I bure the Bell before them 

as dear's a Beid. 

I ran alike on a' kind Grounds, 
Yea in the midst of Ardry Whines, 
I grip't the Mackings be the Bunns,^ 

or be the Neck : 
Where nathing could sl^y them but Guns, 

save bonny Heck : 

I Wily, Witty was, and Gash,-* 
With my auld felni packy Pash,"^ 
Nae Man might anes buy me for Cash 

in some respect. 
Are they not then confounded Rash, 

that hangs poor Heck ? 

I was a bardy " Tyk and bauld, 

Tho' my Beard's Gray, I'm not so auld. 

Can any Man to me unfald, 

what is the Feid,'' 
To stane me ere I be well Cauld ? 

a cruel Deed ! 

^ clever. * nimble. 3 tail. ^ sagacious. * fierce cralty head. 

® fearless. ' cause of quarrel. 



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VARIOUS 313 

Now Honesty was ay my Drift, 
An innocent and harmless Shift, 
A KaiU-pot-lid gently to lift, 

or Amry-Sneck.* 
Shame fa the Chafts, dare call that Thift, 

quo' bonny Heck, 

So weirs I cou'd play Hocus Pocus^ 
And of the Servants TSi2S^Jodocus^ 
And this I did in every Locus 

throw their Neglect. 
And was not this a ^^rry Jocus 

quo* bonny Heck ? 

But now, good Sirs, this day is lost, 
The best Dog in the East-Nook Coast : 
For never ane durst Brag nor Boast 

me, for their Neck. 
But now I must yield up the Ghost, 

quo' bonny Heck. 

And put a period to my Talking, 
For Pm unto my Exit making : 
Sirs, ye may a' gae to the Hawking, 

and there Reflect, 
Ye'l ne'er get sick a Dog for Makin 

as bonny Heck, 

But if my Puppies ance were ready. 

Which I gat on a bonny Lady : 

They'l be baith Oliver, Keen, and Beddy,« 

and ne'er Neglect, 
To Clink it ' like their ancient Deddy 

the famous Heck, 

William Hamilton. 

A Choice Collection of Comic and Serious Scots Poems both Ancient and 
Modern. By several Hands, 1706. 



The King and the Forrester 

You subjects of England, come listen a while ; 
Here is a new ditty will make you to smile, 
It is of a king and a keeper also, 
Who met in a forest some winters ago. 

cupboard-latch. * attentive. ^ follow up. 

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314 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

early, O early, all in the morning, 

King William rose early all in the morning. 
And a gown of grey russet King William put on, 
As tho' he had been some silly poor man. 

The hounds were ready prepared for game, 
No nobles attended of honour and fame : 
But like a mean subject in homely array, 
He to his forest was taking his way. 

Oh then bespoke Mary, our most royal queen, 
' My gracious lord, pray where are you going ? ' 
He answered, * I count him to be no wise man. 
That will his councel tell unto a woman.' 

The queen, with a modest behaviour reply'd, 
' I wish that kind providence may be your guide. 
To keep you from danger, my sovereign lord. 
Which will the greatest of blessings afford.* 

He went to the forest some pleasure to spy, 
Where the hounds run swift, the keeper drew nigh, 

* How dare you, bold fellow, how dare you come here, 
Without the King's leave, to chase his fair deer.' 

* Here are my three hounds, I will give them to you, 
And likewise my hawk as good as e'er flew ; 
Besides I will give you full forty shillings. 

If thou wilt not betray me to William our King. 

1 am one of his subjects, I am one of his force, 
And 1 am come here for to run a course.' 

' Get you gone, you bold fellow, you run no course here. 
Without the leave of King William forbear.' 

' All that I have proffer'd, I pr'y thee now take. 
And do thy endeavour my peace for to make, 
Besides forty shillings I will give thee a ring. 
If thou wilt not betray me to William our King.' 

' Your three hounds I tell you, I never will take, 
Nor yet your three hawks your peace to make ; 
Nor will I be brib'd by your forty shillings. 
But I will betray you to William our King.' 

* As I am a keeper, I will not be unjust. 
Nor for a gold ring will I forfeit my trust ; 

I will bring you before him as sure as a gun, 

And there you shall answer for what you have done.' 



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VARIOUS 315 

' Thou art a bold fellow,' the King he reply'd, 

* What dost thou not see the star on my side. 
This forest is mine, I would have you to know, 
Then what is the reason you threaten me so ? ' 

With that the bold keeper he fell on his knees, 
A trembling fear all his spirits did seize, 
The picture of death appeared on his face ; 
He knew not at first the king was in that place. 

* O pardon, O pardon, my sovereign liege. 
For your royal pardon I beg and beseech. 
Alas ! my poor heart in my breast is cold ; 

let me not sufter for being so bold. 

* Get up honest fellow, and shake off thy fears ; 
In thee there is nothing of folly appears : 

If every one was as faithful as thee, 

What a blessed prince would King William be ! 

' Because I'd encourage such fellows as you, 
I'll make thee my ranger ; If that will not do. 
Thou shalt be a captain by sea or by land. 
And high in my favour thou ever shalt stand.' 

The keeper replied, * my sovereign lord. 
Sure I am not worthy of such a reward ; 
Yet nevertheless your true keeper I'll be. 
Because I am fearful to venture to sea.' 

At which the King laugh'd till his sides he did hold. 
And threw him down fifty bright guineas in gold, 
And bid him make haste to Kensington Court, 
Where of this jest he would make much sport. 

* And when you come there, pray ask for long Jack, 
Who wears pomegranates of gold on his back ; 
Likewise a green pheasant upon his right sleeve, 

1 warrant he's a true man, you may him believe. 

He's one of my porters who stands at my gate, 
To let in my nobles both early and late, 
And therefore good fellow, come up without fear, 
I'll make thee my ranger of parks far and near.' 

Roxburghe Ballads. 

Note. — There was an older version of this song called ' The Loyal Forrister,' 
published in 1696, but we have not txjen able to find a copy of it. 



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3i6 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Song A-la-mode 

O'er the Desert, cross the Meadows, 

Hunters blew the merry Horn ; 
Phcebus chas'd the flying Shadows : 
Eccho, she reply'd, in Scorn ; 
Still adonng, 
And deploring, 
Why must Thirsis lose his Life ? 

Rivers murmur'd from their Fountains, 

Acorns dropping from the Oaks, 
Fawns came tripping o'er the Mountains, 
Fishes bit the naked Hooks ; 
Still admiring, 
And desiring : 
When shall Phillis be a Wife. 

Chas. Sedley, Works, ijor;, 

A New Song on Bonny Beeswing 

Come all you jolly sportsmen of high and low degree, 
One moment give attention and listen unto me, 
While I of bonny Beeswing sing, that gallant mare of fame, 
Go where you will she beats them all and adds honour to her 
name. 

CHORUS 
So here's success to Beeswing ; although she is but small, 
She beats some of their favourites — I hope she'll beat them all. 

Her pedigree I will make known if you the same require, 
I will tell you what they call'd her dam, and what her noble sire. 
With all the cups that she has won and purses fill'd with gold. 
Since in the racing calendar Beeswing has been enrolPd. 

First look at her at Chester how she cut a noble show. 

Two of their favourite run but they were both too slow. 

She started off and led the van which made their hearts to ache, 

But Beeswing, bonny Beeswing, won the cup and Tyrol stakes. 

From there unto Newcastle, Lady Beeswing did repair. 
And when the sportsmen saw her, she made them all to stare. 
There was Lanercost and Eclipse, they thought to knock her up, 
But Beeswing showed them both her tail and took away the cup. 

When the riders stripp'd at Doncaster, it was a gallant show, 
Cartwright in blue and white to Beeswing he did go. 
Now come my lass and do thy best he unto her did say, 
She beat them all at Doncaster and took the cup away. 



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VARIOUS . 317 

Now Beeswing is a gallant mare of courage stout and bold, 
Her colour is a bright bay, and she is nine years old, 
Gold cups she has won my boys, besides such lots of gold, 
As never yet was known before, nor can I here unfold. 

Above fifty prizes Beeswing won, the truth to you I tell, 
Of all the mares in England there's none can her excel, 
And at Newcastle-upon-Tyne I am happy for to say, 
This year she has beat Charles XII., and took the cup away. 

Now to conclude and enci my song, it is the sportsman's list. 
And when you come your gold to sport don't let Beeswing be 

miss'd. 
May fortune smile upon her now and on her steps attend. 
So now my jolly sportsman, my song is at an end. 



Ballad. 



The Tennis-Court 

When as the hand at Tennis plays, 

And Men to gaming fall ; 
Love is the court, Hope is the house, 

And favour serves the Ball. 

This Ball itself is due desert, 
The Line that measure shows 

Is Reason, whereon judgement looks 
Where Players win and lose. 

The Tutties are deceitful shifts ; 

The Stoppers, jealousy, 
Which hath. Sire Argus' hundred eyes, 

Wherewith to watch and pry. 

The Fault, whereon fifteen is lost. 
Is want of Wit and Sense ; 

And he that brings the Racket in 
Is Double Dilligence. 

But now the Racket is Free-will, 
Which makes the Ball rebound ; 

And noble beauty is the choice. 
And of each Game the ground. 

The Racket strikes the Ball away. 

And there is oversight ; 
A bandy, ho ! the people cry, 

And so the Ball takes flight. 



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3i8 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Now at the length good liking proves 

Content to be their gain ; 
Thus, in the Tennis- Court, Love is 

A Pleasure mixed with Pain. 

Fishing and Shooting ^1720]. 

The Lincolnshire Poacher 

When I was bound apprentice in fair Lincolnshire^ 

Full well I served my master for more than seven year, 

'Till I took up to polchin^^ as you shall quickly hear, 

O 'tis my delight, in a shinning night, in the season of the year. 

As me and my comarade were setting of a snare, 
Twas then we spied the game-keeper — for him we did not care. 
For we can wrestle and fight, my boys, and jump o'er anywhere. 
O 'tis my delight on a shinning night, in the season of the year. 

As me and my comarade were setting four or five, 

And taking on them up again we caught the hare alive. 

We caught the hare alive, my boys, and through the woods did steer. 

O 'tis my delight on a shinning night, in the season of the year. 

We throdun him over our shoulder, and then we trudged home. 
We took him to a neighbour's house, and sold him for a crown, 
We sold him for a crown my boys, but I did not tell you where, 
O 'tis my delight on a shinning night, in the season of the year. 

Success to every gentleman that lives in Lincolnshire, 
Success to every polcher that wants to sell a hare. 
Bad luck to every game-keeper that will not sell his deer. 
O 'tis my delight on a shinning night, in the season of the year. 

Ballad. 

The Diversion of Quoit Playing 

Tune: * The Hounds are all out, &c.' 

Mankind will their favourite pleasures pursue, 

The Mind must be ever employ'd ; 
The Fancy to please is the Motive in view. 

And each will his Hobby Horse ride. 

My brave Boys. 

Some take up their Batts and the Cricket-ball bang. 

Some brisk in the Five Court are seen ; 
Of the Sports of the Field many fondly harangue, 

And some boast the Sports of the Green. 



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VARIOUS 319 

Amusements are fashion'd for every age, 

And Novelty pleasure excites ; 
But we in that old rustic pastime engage, 

The manly Diversion of Quoits. 

The Britons of old by this practice we know, 

The Brave to the Field did invite ; 
The same nervous Arm that could twang the long Bow, 

Was accustom'd to throw the broad Quoit. 

Tune : ' Hark, hark away.' 
Come, come my Boys to sport away, 
With pleasing Games we'll crown the Day ; 
Follow your Sire ye Social Throng, 
See how alert he trips it along ; 

The wisest Man, 

From Nature's plan. 
Who pictured Life was pleas'd to say, Sir, 

For every Class, 

There always was, 
A Time to work, and a Time to play. Sir. 

The Clock's struck four, the game begin, 
Longer to dally 'twere a Sin, 
Off with your Hat, for Partners throw, 
Off with your Coats your best to do ; 

Equally match'd. 

That's widely pitch'd ; 
Strive with more edge to ground your Pieces ; 

Room enough yet, 

One lucky hit. 
Makes full amends for twenty Misses. 

Cheer up my Boy, exert your strength. 
Study to find a proper length ; 
Mind your next piece, be sure be straight. 
The best by chance are sometimes beat ; 

Good, good again. 

That makes us ten ; 
Who at such play can ever grumble : 

Fortune forbear. 

What luck is there ! 
See how those Trinkets ^ roll and tumble. 

Now to Contest close attend. 
And this will be a glorious end ; 
Seven good Quoits the Hob surround. 
Not one three inches from it found ; 

* Veiy small quoits. 

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320 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

A Toucher here, 

Another there, 
Drops within the breadth of a Finger, 

Who more can do, 

That noble throw, 
Crowns the Game with a double Ringer. 

Lucre our object cannot be, 
For Pence a piece we only play ; 
Tho' but a trifle still the Game, 
From all can strict attention claim : 

The Feather's fled. 

The Hob lies hid. 
Close to the Ground the Pieces pin it ; 

Drawing so near. 

Many would swear ! 
The virtue of the Loadstone's in it. 

Finding by chance the Weather wet 
Why then we under cover get, 
Handing the friendly Cup about, 
Until we've drank the Jorum out ; 

Chearful and gay. 

Drink down the Day, 
Joining in pleasant Conversation ; 

Hearty and true, 

All Summer through, 
This is our weekly Recreation. 

John Freeth, Political Songster, 1790. 



The Game of Fives 

Tune : * Welcome every friendly Guest ' 

Sprightly Sons of manly Sport, 
Haste to pleasures spacious Court ; 
Murmur not how Chances fall, 
First strike hands than strike the ball 
Win or lose at trifling bets, 
Laugh'd at be the Man that frets. 

Now obser\'e the Marker's call. 
Hear him rally Fourteen all, 
Down to Five again were set. 
Six hands in and scarce a Let ; 
Let which will the Victory claim, 
'Tis my Boys a well fought Game. 



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VARIOUS 321 

For an Evening^s active Sport, 
To the Angel we resort, 
Where in heart-felt sportive glee, 
Worn down Vet'rans smile to see ; 
Youthful vigour tripping round, 
Pleasure's consecrated Ground. 

Fives amongst the Sons of Fame, 
Was the antient Britons (lame, 
Mixt with prudence still the wise. 
Call it healthful Exercise ; 
Ne'er let good old Customs drop. 
Strike the Ball and keep it up. 

Round the World the Seasons through. 
Youth their various Sports pursue ; 
Some resort where Cards are seen. 
Some the Cockpit, some the Green, 
Ours against the stately Wall, 
Is to jerk the bouncing Ball. 

John Frketh, Political Songster, 1790. 

The High-mettled Racer 

See the course throng'd with gazers, the sports are begun, 

Confusion but hear, I bet you sir, done : 

Ten thousand strange murmurs resound far and near. 

Lords, hawkers, and jockies, assail tbfe tir'd ear ; 

While with neck like a rainbow erecting his crest, 

Pamper'd, prancing, and pleas'd, his head touching his breast. 

Scarcely snuffing the air, he's so proud and elate. 

The high-mettled Racer first starts for the plate. 

Now Reynard's turn'd out, and o'er hedge and ditch rush. 
Dogs, horses, and huntsmen, all hard at his brush ; 
Thro' marsh, fen, and brier, led by their sly prey, 
They by scent, and by view, chace a long tedious way ; 
While alike bom for sports of the field and the course. 
Always sure to come through — a stanch and fleet horse ; 
When fairly run down, the Fox yields up his breath, 
The high-mettled Racer is in at the death. 

Grown aged, us'd up, and turn'd out of the stud. 

Lame, spavin'd, and wind-gall'd, but yet with some blood, 

While knowing postillions his pedigree trace. 

Tell his dame won this sweep, his sire won that race, 

And what matches he won to the hostlers count o'er. 

As they loiter their time at some hedge-ale-house door, 

While the harness sore galls, and the spurs his sides goad. 

The high-mettled Racer's a hack on the road. 



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322 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Till at last having laboured, dragged early and late, 

Bow'd down by degrees he bends on to his fate, 

Blind, old, lean, and feeble, he tugs round a mill, 

Or draws sand, till the sand of his hourglass stands still ; 

And now cold and lifeless, expos'd to the view, 

In the very same cart that he yesterday drew, 

While a pitying crowd his sad relics surrounds, 

The high-mettled Racer is sold for the hounds. 

Collection of Ballad:^ and Songs. Found also among a 
Colk'ction of Songs by Charles Dibdin. 



Sonnet on Bathing 

When late the trees were stript by winter pale, 

Young Health, a dr>'ad-maid in vesture green, 

Or like the forest's silver-quiver'd queen. 

On airy uplands met .the piercing gale ; 
And, ere its earliest echo shook the vale, 

Watching the hunter's joyous horn was seen. 

But since, gay-thron'd in fiery chariot sheen, 

Summer has smote each daisy- dappled dale ; 
She to the cave retires, high-arch'd beneath 

The fount that laves proud I sis' tower d brim : 

And now, all glad the temperate air t6 breath, 
While cooling drops distill from arches dim, 

Binding her dewy locks with sedgy wreath, 

She sits amid the quire of Naiads trim. 

Thus. Warton, Poems, 1777. 

The Skaiter s March 

{Composed for the Skailet^s Club at Edinburgh] 

This snell and frosty morning. 

With rhind the trees adorning. 

Tho' Phoebus below. 

Through the sparkling snow, 

A skaiting we go, 

With a fal, lal, lal, lal, lal, lal, 

To the sound of the merry merry horn. 

From the right to the left we're plying. 
Swifter than winds we're flying, 
Spheres with spheres surrounding. 
Health and strength abounding, 
In circles we sweep, 



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** Through the sparkling snow 
A skaiting we go/' 



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VARIOUS 323 

Our poise still we keep, 

Behold how we sweep, • 

The face of the deep, 
With afal, lal, lal, lal, lal, lal, 
To the sound of the merry merry horn. 

Great Jove looks down with wonder, 

To view his sons of thunder, 

Tho' the water he seal, 

We rove on our heel, 

Our weapons are steel. 

And no danger we feel. 
With a fal, lal, lal, lal, lal, lal. 
To the sound of the merry merry horn. 

See the Club advances. 

See how they join the dances, 

Horns and trumpets sounding, 

Rocks and hills resounding, 

Let Tritons now blow, 

For Neptune below, 

His beard dares not shew, 

Or call us his foe, 
With a fal, lal, lal, lal, lal, lal, 
To the sound of the merry merry horn. 

C. DiBDiN, Sporting Magazine, 1802, 



The Boy in Yellow 

When first I strove to win the prize, 

1 felt my youthful spirits rise ; 

Hope's crimson flush illum'd my face, 

And all my soul was in the race. 

When weigh'd and mounted, 'twas my pride, 

Before the starting post to ride ; 

My rival's drest in red and green. 

But I in simple yellow seen. 

In stands around fair ladies swarm, 
And mark with smiles my slender form ; 
Their lovely looks new ardour raise, 
For beauty's smile is merit's praise ! 
The flag is dropt— the sign to start — 
Away more fleet than winds we dart, 
And tho' the odds against me lay, 
The boy in yellow wins the day ! 

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324 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Tho' now no more we seek the race, 
I trust the jockey keeps his place ; 
For still to win the prize, I feel 
An equal wish, an equal zeal : 
And still can beauty's smile impart 
Delightful tremors thro' this heart : 
Indeed, I feel it flutter now-- 
Yes, while I look, and while I bow ! 

My tender years must vouch my truth — 
For candor ever dwells with youth ; 
Then sure the sage might well believe, 
A face — like mine— could ne'er deceive, 
If here you o'er a match should make. 
My life upon my luck I'll stake ; 
And 'gainst all odds, I think you'll say, 
The boy in yellow wins the day. 

Songs of tfw Chace, 1 8 r i . 

Poor old Mike 

I was reared in Doncaster some forty years ago, 
Hut times are very different, as many of you know ; 
I've had my share of sunshine, of course I can't complain. 
Hut the good old days have passed away, and thev'^ll never come 
again. 

Poor old Mike. 

?'or now I'm growing old, and my age it does decay, 
A poor old, worn out stableman, every one does say, 

Poor old Mike, Poor old Mike. 

When I was rising six years old, they first put me across 
One of Lord Derb>''s favorites, for a trial round the course. 
So firm and neat I kept my seat, the knowing ones they star'd, 
As I rattled in from a two miles spin, every one declared — 

Twas clever little Mike ! 

Then I was made a Jockey, it suited well my taste, 
A handy chap at a handicap, smart at a steeple chase ; 
East, west, north, or south, I could show an open face, 
Vox 1 always acted on the square, and ne\er sold a race. 

Honest little Mike. 

But soon I grew too big, I could neither train or waste. 
My patrons too they died, so I was sack'd in haste. 
But posting days were in there prime, a post hack I bestrode, 
With a smack, * Va hip 1 ' crack goes the whip, rattling down the 
road. 

Merry little Mike. 



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VARIOUS 325 

But steam soon run us off the road, and rheumatizm set in, 
'Twas then I first knew poverty, my troubles did begin. 
Relations, friends, acquaintances, all dead or far away, 
I was odd man in a stable yard for half-a-crown a day. 

Poor old Mike. 

By the young un's beaten out and out, and bundled from the yard, 
I touted in St. Martin's Lane, or sold a racing card. 
Sometimes I get the tip when a old friend comes to town. 
And there's many a swell for the news I tell will drop me half-a- 
crown. Poor old Mike. 



Ballad. 



Epsom 



High on the downs the awful ring is made, 

The gath'ring clan of all the blackleg trade ; 

A thousand shouts increase the deafning cr>'. 

And quite confound all question and reply ; 

Yet order still o'er madness holds her rule, 

And Cocker's self might learn in Gulley's school. 

The storm increases, swells the pencill'd score ; 

And lords and senators and bullies roar. 

The statelier cr6w, their speculation made. 

Forsake the rabble, and invest the glade ; 

Where, just led out, the paragons are seen 

To press, not wound, with glitt'ring hoof the green. 

Each arching neck's impatient of the rein. 

Fire in each eye, and swelling ev'ry vein. 

Back to a hundred sires of Arab breed 

Trace we the bottom and enquire the speed : 

By Selim this, and that by Phantom got ; 

And this by Tramp was bred by Mr. Watt. 

And memory now in praise is fond to trace 

Friends of the turf, and patrons of the race : 

Smolensko, last of skilful Bunbury's breed. 

Whom Jersey^s Earl and Grafton's Duke succeed ; 

Their care, their hope, their profit, and their pride 

A moment may o'ertum, and must decide. 

That moment comes,— the bell ! the saddling bell. 

Sounds fortune's proudest triumph or her knell ! 

How beats our hero's pulse ? or where his heart ? — 

They're off ! but order'd back for a false start. 

They're ranged again I and now are off! — I deem 

Two minutes now two lagging ages seem ; 

Till twice ten thousand shouts and yells proclaim. 

That Jersey's Mameluke wins deathless fame. 

Some weep for joy. some think 'twas falsely done, 

And swear Glenartney might with ease have won. 

The Man of Ton : a Salire. L826. t 

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326 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The Jolly Curlers 

THE LAIRD'S DITTY 

Tune : * O for him back ag.iin ! ' 

Of a* the games that e'er I saw, 
Man, callant, laddie, birkie, wean, 

The dearest far aboon them a' 

Was ay the witching channcl-stanc. 

Chorus, — O for the channel-stane. 

The fell-gude game, the channel-stane ! 

There's ne'er a game that e'er 1 saw 

Can match auld Scotland's channel-stane. 

I've been at bridals unco glad, 
Wi' courtin' lasses wondrous fain : 

But what is a' the fun I've had, 
Compare it wi' the channel-stane ? 

O for the, &c. 

Were I a sprite in yonder sky. 

Never to come back again, 
I'd sweep the moon and starlets by. 

And play them at the channel-stane. 

O for the, &c. 

We'd boom across the Milky- Way ; 

One tee should be the Northern Wain ; 
Another, bright Orion's ray ; 

A comet for a channcl-stanc. 

O for the, &c. 

The Caledonian, i8at. 



The following additional verse was printed in the version which appeared 
[he Kilmarnock ' Treatise on Curling,' which appeared in 1828 : 



in the 

I've played at quoiting in my day, 

And maybe I may do'l again. 
Hut still unto myself I'd say, 

This is no the channel-stane. 
Oh ! for. &c. 

In this edition, and very often since, the song is attributed to Hogg, the 
Ettrick Shepherd, but it was probably written by Professor Gillespie of St. 
Andrews, who made one of the famous company in the ' Xoctes Ambrosianae ' 
of • Hlackwoods Magazine.' 



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VARIOUS 327 

Pigeon-shooting 

There's no rural sport surpasses 
Pigeon shooting — circling glasses — 

Fill the crystal goblet up : 
No game laws can ever thwart us, 
Nor qui tarns \ no habeas corpus ; ^ 
For our licence \'enus grants. 
Let's be grateful —here's a bumper ; 
For her bounty — here's a bumper ; 
'Listed under beauty's banners, 
What's to us freehold or manors ? 

Fill the crystal goblet up. 

No suspense our tempers trying, 
Endless sport our trap supplying ; 
No ill state 'twixt hope and fear, 
At magic word our birds appear. 

Fill the crystal goblet up. 
Alike all seasons in our favour, 
O'er vales and hills, no, toil or labour, 
No alloy our pleasures yield. 
No gamekeeper e'er employing, 
Skill'd in art of game destroying ; 
Free from trouble, void of care, 
We set at nought the poacher's snare — 

Fill the crystal goblet up. 

No blank days can ever vex us. 
No false points can e'er perplex us ; 

Fill the crystal goblet up : 
Pigeons, swift as wind, abounding. 
Detonating guns resounding, 
Sec the tow'ring victims fall. 
With Apollo science vying. 
View the heaps of dead and dying, 
Forc'd to pay the debt of nature- 
Matters it, or soon or later : 

Fill the crystal goblet up. 

The Sportsman's I 'oral Cabinet, 1830, 

Steeple Chases 

THE ORKUN OF THE STEEPLE CHASE 

The days of palmy Chivalry are o'er : 

Plumed morion, corslet, faulchion, spear, and shield 
Shine in the gorgeous Tournament no more : 

No Herald summonses the leagucr'd field : 

• Tho suspension. 



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328 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The roving prow seeks not the savage shore 

To win the spoils that barbarous foemen yield : 
Say then, what Venture may thy prowess try, 
* Lord of the lion heart and eagle eye ? ' 

The War is past : beneath the olive bough 
Young Peace and Love exchange the soft salute- 

The God of Battles smoothes his niffled brow, 
And Glory's energetic voice is mute. 

Where whilom rang the brazen trumpet, now 
The maiden dances to the shepherd's lute : 

Up, Gallants, up I let not your spirits cease 

Their daring in these * piping time of peace I ' 

Lo I at the call, as eager to beguile 
The weary hours of most unwelcome ease, 

Spread from each harbour of the sea-girt Isle, 
The snowy canvas woos the wanton breeze : 

And many a bark of l^eauty speeds the while 
O'er the bright waters of the summer seas. 

Grant but the gale, and when did landsman feel 

The wild, fierce rapture of the bounding keel ! 

Light as the meteor glances through the gloom ; 

Swift as the eagle in his stoop of pride ; 
Away with flowing sheet and spanking boom 

The arrowy shallop cleaves the waters wide — 
But oh, the quickened grave ! the living tomb. 

When Zephyr slumbers o'er the drowsy tide ; 
The heart that dances when the glad wind blows,. 
Pines, droops, and sickens in that grim repose. 

Soon as Spring's fragrant velvet decks the mead. 
Matchless in courage, symmetry, and grace. 

With step elastic, hoof of burning speed. 
And eager eye, that would devour all space, 

O'er the green carpet springs the noble steed. 
Strains for the goal, and conquers in the race : 

Mark I while the shout of triumph rends the sky. 

The guerdon rare that crowns the victory ! 

A goodly picture that, so it be placed 
In such a light that those alone be seen 

Whom in relief the limner may have traced : 
But look into the back ground, and 1 ween 

Small sympathy will mingle with your taste, 
And the dark forms that haunt the murky scene : 

See I how among that ghastly cluster glide 

The swindler — robber — perjurer— homicide ! 



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VARIOUS 329 

Summer, and bloom and fragrance, all are past, 
And VVinter's sober russet clothes the ground : 

Hark I how the horn of Chase with jocund blast 
Answer the merry music of the hound, 

While Echo joins the minstrelsy, and fast 
Repeats the sylvan harmony around : 

In \'am the pen would tell, the pencil trace 

The joy, the might, the magic of the Chase ! 

Leaps every heart that lists the wild * Away ! ' 
As peals the chorus of the woodland choir, 

What eye but sparkles at the proud array I 
What soul such melody may not inspire I 

On, Ciallants, on I there's nought your track can stay. 
Or check, or daunt your generous courser's fire. 

But lo I they pause : to mar such merriment, 

* Surgit atnari aliqtddV — The Scent ! 

Such was the fate of all who sought the round 
Of circling Pleasure's fair and lustrous sphere. 

That still some dark and envious shade was found 
To dim the splendour of her gay career : 

Ere the ripe fruit Hope's early blossom crown'd, 
Some blight would baulk the promise of the year, 

'Till Dian came, and o'er the drooping land 

Waved a bright pennon in her cheering hand. 

And thus the Ooddess spoke : * My sons, arise, 
Too long like planets to one orb confined, 

Each sylvan sport engross'd your energies — 
Now take this banner, whose device you'll find. 

Like to the clusters of the starry skies, 
A constellation of them all combined, 

While for a motto on the silk you trace 

Diana's noblest gift — the Steeple Chase ! 

Sporting Magazine, April 1836. 



The Tantivy Trot 

I 

Here's to the old ones, of four-in-hand fame, 

Harrison, Peyton, and Ward, Sir ; 
Here's to the fast ones that after them came. 
Ford and the Lancashire Lord, Sir. 
Let the steam pot 
Hiss till it*s hot, 
(iive me the speed of the Tantivy Trot. 



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330 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Here's to the team, Sir, all harness'd to start. 

Brilliant in Brummagem leather ; 
Here's to the waggoner, skill'd in the art, 

Coupling the cattle together. 

Let the steam pot, &c. 

Ill 

Here's to the shape that is shown the near side, 
Here's to the blood on the off, Sir ; 

Limbs with no check to their freedom of stride ! 
Wind without whistle or cough. Sir ! 
Let the steam pot, &c. 

IV 

Here's to the dear little damsels within, 
Here's to the swells on the top. Sir ; 

Here's to the music in three feet of tin. 
And here's to the tapering crop, Sir. 
Let the steam pot, &c. 



Here's to the arm that can hold 'cm when gone, 

Still to a gallop inclin'd. Sir ; 
Heads in the front with no bearing reins on ! 

Tails with no cruppers behind. Sir I 
Let the steam pot, &c. 



Here's to the dragsmcn I've dragg'd into song, 
Salisbury, Mountain, and Co., Sir ; 

Here's to the Cracknell who cracks them along 
Five twenty-fives at a go I Sir. 
Let the steam pot, &c. 

vii 

Here's to Mac Adam the Mac of all Macs, 

Here's to the road we ne'er tire on ; 
Let me but roll o'er the granite he cracks, 
Ride ye who like it on iron. 
Let the steam pot 
Hiss till it's hot. 
Give me the speed of the Tantivy Trot. 



R. E. 1':gekton Warburton, 1834. 

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VARIOUS 



33 > 



Hawking 

A LAY 

Dedicated to Saint Hubert 

Thro' the castle gates first ride they forth, 

A gallant glittering band, 
Renowned knights, whose falchions bright 
Have earned them laurels, in many a fight, 

In a strange and distant land. 




And maidens, too, on palfreys gay, 

From Araby, so rare. 
Snorting and prancing, on they bound — 
So light, they scarcely touch the ground- 

A beauteous sight they were I 

Swift as the wind, fast on they go, 

O'er hill and valley wide ; 
With falcons fierce and gos-hawks fair, 
Their bewits tinkling shrill and clear. 

How bonnily they ride I 



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332 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Now, startled by their merry shout. 

Away the fleet deer bound ; 
The skulking fox has sped away ; 
The timid hare, the squirrel grey, 

Sit humbling at the sound. 

But now aloft the wild fowl rise, 

With outstretched neck and wing, 
Cleaving their way thro' the sunny skies, 
The forest echoing with their cries — 
They make the wild wood ring. 

Quick the fierce falcon's hood is doffed, 

His jesses slipt — Away ! 
His bright eyes sparkle at the sight, 
He soars aloft in conscious might, 

And well he marks his prey. 

Aloft he wheels — aloft he soars — 

A speck upon the skies 1 
One instant rests he in mid air — 
He stoops— his talons fiercely tear ! 
The Quarry is his prize I 

Right well, I ween, that saint was loved, 

Who bless'd the chase so gay ; 
Oh I bonnily they all did ride 
O'er hill and dale and chasm wide, 
On good St. Hubert's day ? 

G. G. Sill, The Sportsman, 1840. 



The Criterion Coach 

The following lines were written by the late Hon. Martin Hawkk, at the 
lime when the Duke of Beaufort, then Marquis of Worcester, tooled 
the Criterion Brighton coach. 

As quick as thought, there see approach, 

Swift glancing down the road. 
The dashing gay Criterion coach, 

With in and outside load. 

'Tis Worcester's Lord who drives the team, 

Thorough-bred, or near it, 
Of * all the talents ' he's the cream — 

Upset I — who can fear it ? 



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VARIOUS 333 



And now they change, and oft' again 

Under half a minute ; 
So just each trace, so true each rein, 

Really magic's in it ! 

Like bright japan the harness shines 

All chosen and select ; 
The brasslike famed Potosi's mines 

A mirror to reflect. 

And mark the flowers on each head — 

The rose and lily fair 
Around us all their fragrance shed, 

Enbalm the morning air ! 

The well-shaped yew, the taper thong, 
Proclaim the workman's art ; 

But as the blood-ones dash along, 
They feel no useless smart. 

Oh no ! he tries each supple rein 
To check their eager speed. 

Strong is the hand that can restrain 
Each noble well-bred steed ! 

Here all is life, excitement, joy, 

Our troubles left behind, 
No cares our pleasures to destroy, 

Our sorrows to the wind ! 

The hunter boasts his gallant steed 
That flies o'er hill and dale. 

But we can beat his fastest speed. 
And tell a brighter tale I 

We've no blank days, no want of scent. 
To check our forward course ; 

Fresh teams await when this is spent. 
This beats his Second horse ! 

And, hark ! the bugle sounds alarms 

Thro' every country place, 
The village beauties show their charms, 

Displaying every grace ! 

Then, here's my toast and fill it up, 

* Success the Road attend.' ' 
And he that will not pledge the cup 

To talent is no friend ! 



M. H. , Sporthig Magazine, December 1840. 

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334 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

A Song for the Sportsman 

I 

When the rosy dawn just breaketh, 

And the dew is on the lea, 
Ere the sun his first step taketh, 

Over hill and over sea ; 
Forth he fares— the ^^^allant Hunter I— 

Forth he fares, and mounts his steed ; 
Over heath and hollow bounding, 
While the merry horn resounding, 

Bids the healthful pastime speed ! 

n 
When the day, in sunny brightness, 

Paces on — a summer guest I 
And the zephyr sighs in lightness 

O'er the river's quiet breast ; 
Forth he fares— the wily Angler I— 

Forth he fares, with rod and line. 
Basket at his back suspended ; 
Ere the day its course hath ended, 

Many a trout will in it shine. 

Ill 
When the moorland track is growing 

Browner 'neath the commg night, 
And the heather-bloom is glowing 

Redly, in the faint moonlight ; 
Forth he fares— the midnight SPORTSMAN '. — 

Forth he fares to stalk the roe ; 
And, amid the night's long watches. 
Thinks, and drinks, and sings by snatches, 

'Till his fated prey lies low 1 

Major Calder Campbell, Sportsman, 1840. 

Epitome of the Seasons 

When summer bids us seek the shade. 
Let's hasten to the mazy glade ; 
'Tis there the limpid riv'let strays 
O'er pebbled banks, a thousand ways. 
The tapering rod, the fur-fraught fly. 
Delude the trout's quick, darling eye : 
Each tenant of the wat'ry plain 
Becomes the skilful angler s gain. 
When Aitgust l^rings its sultry hours, 
Teeming plains, and fruits, and flowers ; 



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VARIOUS 335 

Then ling -clad moors shall offer sports 
Far better than the glare of courts. 
O'er scented mountain, marshy vale, 
On fluttering wings the heath-cocks sail : 
They mount, they quiver, and they die, 
Whilst mimic thunder rends the sky ! 
When kind Septembtr cheers the swain, 
Let's hasten to the stubble's plain ; 
'Tis there the partridge chirps away, 
Basking beneath the noontide ray : 
Our dogs are stanch, our marksmen sure, 
P'.qual each varying toil t' endure : 
In fluttering haste the coveys rise. 
Ah ! soon to fall in mute surprise. 
Brown October claims my song ; 
We'll ramble, then, the woods among ; 
The golden pheasants there repair. 
And brakes conceal the fearful hare. 
Come, bleak November's gloomy hours. 
Swift-descending, fleecy showers ; 
For woodcocks, range the brier>' fens, 
And flush them from their rushy dens. 
Hark ! the merry hounds and horn. 
Welcome December's short-lived mom ; 
Reynard leaves his fa v' rite cave, 
And flies afar, his life to save : 
Or the swift and doubling hare 
Demands the sportsman's early care. 
Ere wintry storms forbid the sport. 
At dawn of mom the season court ; 
Gently guide the courser's flight. 
With echoing cry, till fall of night. 
Snow and frost, a pow'rful train, 
Too soon shall cover all the plain ; 
Tread, then, the winding riv'let's shore, 
Where the whirling cataracts roar ; 
Twitt'ring snipes, and wild-ducks too. 
Shall there become a prey to you. 

Such, surely, is the sportsman's joy, — 
Gay sports, which wintry hours employ. 
Changed to thaw, the rapid hare 
And well-bred greyhound claims thy care ; 
Then seek the healthful wolds in haste. 
The freshness of the air to taste : 
Far removed from noise and strife. 
There view the joys of rural life. 
Grant me, ye gods, contented hours, 
Such valued sports and sylvan bowers. 

Hon. Martin Hawke, Sporting Rcine-w, iS^o. t 

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336 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Song of the Old English Falconer 

Awa)j, away, to the woods with me, 
Fair is the dew on the grassy lea, 
Pure and bright is the dawn of day. 
Hie to the woodlands, hie away ! 

Lady, awake, and leave your bower, 
Kisses of dew in every flower 
Wait but the touch of your finger fair 
To shed their sweets on the morning air. 
Arise, arise, leave dreams of love 
For marlyon ' gay and for broidered glove. 
For the gallant bound of your palfrey grey, 
For the hunter's horn and roundelay. 
Away, &c. 

Up, up. Sir Knight I to horse, to horse ! 
The red-deer lies in the roscid ' gorse ; 
The wild-fowl float on the woodland lake ; 
Up and away through briar and brake. 
In the grove of oaks the yeomen wait. 
The wolf-hound bays at the Castle gate, 
The sluggard may lie on his bed of down, 
Seek we the heath and the heather brown. 
Away, &c. 

Arise ! arise I 'tis the matin hour ; 
Hark to the chimes from the belfry tower ! 
The hawks are sounding their Milan bells,'- 
And Echo replies from the shady dells, 
Like the silver voice of a woodside god 
That laughs at the trees as they bend and nod — 
Nodding in joy to their sturdy mates, 
That cast their shade o'er the Castle gates ! 
Away, &c. 
Sandie Gkey, Sporiing Magazine, Decemljoi- 1841. 

1 In the old books on hawking the inarlyon is set down as the hawk 
properly belonging to a lady. 

* Thi' hawk's bells made al Milan were much in repute among our ances- 
tors at one time. 

' Meithinkes these Millane bels do sound loo full, 
And spoile the mounting of your hawke.' — Old Play. 



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VARIOUS 337 

Ballad 

Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorr^e 
I 

Are you ready for your steeplechase, Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorrde ? 

Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Barum, Baree, 
You're booked to ride your capping race to-day at Coulterlee, 
You're booked to ride Vindictive, lor all the world to see, 
To keep him straight, to keep him first, and win the race for me. 

Barum, Barum, &c. 



She clasped her new-bom baby, poor Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorree. 

* I cannot ride Vindictive as any man might see, 

And I will not ride Vindictive, with this baby on my knee ; 
^ He's killed a boy, he's killed a man, and why must he kill me ? ' 

III 

* Unless you ride Vindictive, Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorree, 
Unless you ride Vindictive to-day at Coulterlee, 

And land him safe across the brook, and win the blank for me, 
It's you may keep your baby, for you'll get no keep from me.' 

IV 

* That husbands could be cruel,' said Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorree, 

* That husbands could be cruel, I have known for seasons three ; 
But oh I to ride Vindictive while a baby cries for me. 

And be killed across a fence at last for all the world to see ! ' 



She mastered young Vindictive — oh I the gallant lass was she- - 
And kept him straight and won the race as near as near could be ; 
But he killed her at the brook against a pollard willow tree, 
Oh I he killed her at the brook, the brute, for all the world to see, 
And no one but the baby cried for poor Lorraine, Lorree. 

Charles Kingsley. Last poem written in illness, June 1874. 






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HUMOROUS SONGS & PARODIES 

HUNTING 
Going Out a Hunting 

Air : *The King of the Cannibal Islands* 

Good friends I pray you list to me, 

And very soon you all shall see, 

Vot lots of fun and mirth and glee, 
I had ven I vos hunting. 

Last Easter Monday you must know, 

Some friends persuaded me to go, 

To the Epping hunt myself to show, 

And join the sportsman's tally-ho ! 

So off I vent along with they. 

To spend my Easter holiday, 

Upon a norse I hired that day, 
To take me out a hunting. 

Vith our boots and spurs and vhips so new^ 
And scarlet coats and breeches too. 
Oh, didn't we have a phililoo 
Vhen ve vent out a hunting. 

Oh, didn't ve not give a shout, 
Vhen in the morn ve all set out. 
And trotted on along the rout, 

Vhere people go a hunting. 
There was Tommy Thompson, Charley Lee, 
Vith Johnny, Peter, Bill, and me, 
All mounted on our nags so free. 
Determined we should have a spree ; 
Ve halted at the Seven Stars, 
And had some ale and fresh cigars : 
Then off ve vhent in spite of bars, 

Vhen ve vos out a hunting. 
Vith our boots and spurs, &c. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 339 

Ve'd very near to Epping got, 
Vhen Charley cries I tell you vot, 
I feels as how so very hot, 

Through going out a hunting ; 
So let us stop at this here inn, 
And each von have a drop of gin, 
Then off ve'll dash thro' thick and thin, 
And perhaps the stag hunt we may vin. 
He hadn't time to say no more. 
For the stag upset him vot a bore ! 
Right slap at Tommy Rounding's door. 

Vhen ve vos out a hunting. 
Vith our boots and spurs, &c. 




Vhile Johnny fell in an old sow's trough 
Vhen ve vos out a hunting 

Ve rode again soon arter that, 
Vhen Tommy Thompson fell down flat, 
And Billy Valker lost his hat, 
While ve vos out a hunting. 



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340 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

At their disasters I lau^h'd loud, 
And of myself I felt quite proud, 
Vhen my horse at a bull he cowed, 
And threw me bang into a crowd ; 
The people on the road did scoff, 
To see us tumbling on and off, 
Vhile Johnny fell in an old sow's trough, 
Vhen ve vos out a hunting. 
Vith our boots and spurs, &c. 

At length the night began to grow. 
And dark as old Nick's place below, 
So every one agreed to go. 

And leave off going a hunting. 
Then homeward we began to trot, 
But scarcely half a mile had got. 
Before we met a jolly lot, 
Of chaps vot hunting [hadl been not ; 
They made us stand [rightj up in front, 
Then all our pockets they did hunt, 
And robb'd us each of all our blunt, 

Vhile ve vos out a hunting. 
Vith our boots and spurs, &c. 

At last we got home safe and tight, 
But in a werry shocking plight ; 
In fact ve all enough had quite. 

Of going out a hunting. 
Not von of us Pm sure can bmg. 
Of hunting, tho' each had a nag, 
For every one so much did lag, 
Ve never even saw the stag. 
So now I've told you all my sport. 
On Easter Monday, and in short. 
Never again will I be caught, 

A going out a hunting. 

Vith our boots and spurs, &c. 



Ballad. 



From the ' Tour of Doctor Syntax ' 

The 'Squire with half-smok'd pipe in hand, 
Desir'd the Doctor to command 
Whatever Nimrod-Hall possess'd, 
And prove himself a welcome guest. 
With some good neighbours, sportsmen all 
W^ho had just sought the shelt'ring hall. 

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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 341 

Dinner was serv'd, each took his place, 
And a View Halloo was the grace : 
But soon the Doctor did retire 
From noisy table to the fire, 
To hear the chit-chat of the 'Squire. 
Nor did the far-fam'd Nimrod balk 
His fancy for an hour's talk. 

Nimrod 

* My life, I rather fear, supplies 
But little you may not despise : 
But still, you sages of the schools. 
Will not declare us sportsmen fools, 

If each, in his due weight and measure 

Should analyse his pain and pleasure ! 

*Tis true for forty years and more, 

(For I have long been past threescore,) 

My life has never ceas'd to be 

One scene of rural jollity : 

But hurrying Time has fled so fast, 

My former pastimes all are f)ast : 

Yet, though our nature's seasons are, 

Mix'd up with portion due of care ; 

Though I have many dangers run, 

I'm still alive at seventy-one. 

— Nimrod was always in his place ; 

He was the first in ev'ry chace ; 

Nor last when, o'er th' enliv'ning bowl. 

The hunters felt the flow of soul. 

The first, when, at the break of day. 

It was — To Cover, hark away ! 

The last, when midnight heard the strain 

Which sung the pleasures of the plain.' 

Syntax 

* But hunting lasts not all the year : 
How did you then the moments cheer ? 
In the vacation of your sport 

To what employ did you resort ? 
You read, perhaps, and can unfold 
How in old times the hunter bold. 
Did with strong lance and jav'lin slay 
The brindled lion as his prey, 
Or chac'd the boar, or sought reward 
In spotted cloa thing of the pard.' 

Nimrod 



* I've not quite lost the little knowledge. 
Which I obtain'd in school and college ; 



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342 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

But the old Greeks, those fighting-cocks, 

Did not pretend to hunt the fox : 

For where, think you, their hounds were bred ; 

Or how, think you, their dogs were fed, 

If it be true as I have read. 

That, in a freak and at a sup, 

The/d turn and eat their huntsman up. 

— No, Sir, my books enjoy themselves 

In long known quiet on their shelves. 

— In summer, when the chace is o'er. 

And echoing horn is heard no more, 

The harvest then employ'd my care, 

The sheafs to bind, the flocks to shear ; 

The autumn did its fruitage yield 

In ev'ry orchard, eVry field, 

And the emptied casks receive 

The juice Pomona loves to give. 

The winter comes and once a^ain 

Echos awake in wood and plain. 

And the loud cry of men and hound, 

Was heard again the country round : 

Though I those days no more shall sec, 

They're gone and past and lost to me : 

But as a poet doth relate, 

When the world's victor feasting sat. 

And trumpets gave the martial strain, 

He fought his battles o'er again ; — 

Thus I can from my windows see 

Scenes of the Nimrod chivalry ; 

And with these old dogs on the floor, 

I talk the former chaces o'er. 

There's Music ^ whose melodious tone 

Was to each pathless covert known ; 

And Captain who was never wrong 

Whenever heard to give his tongue ; 

There's Parragon whose nose could boast, 

To gain the trail whenever lost ; 

And Darlings in the scented track 

Would often lead the clam'rous pack ; 

While Re>Tiard chill despair would feel 

When Favourite was at his heel. 

Doctor, these dogs which round me lay, 

Were famous creatures in their day. 

And while they live they ne'er shall cease. 

To know what plenty is and peace ; 

Be my companions as you see. 

And eke out their old age with me. 

With them I sit and feel the glow 

Which fond remembrance both bestow : 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 343 

And when in fancy's dream, I hear 

The tumults break upon my ear ; 

The shouting cry, the joyous sounds 

Of huntsmen and the deep-mouthM hounds ; 

My old age ceases to lament 

My crippled limbs, my vigour spent ; 

I, for those moments, lose my pain, 

And halloo as if young again. 

'Tis true, from leaps I've dar'd to take, 

That I have often risk'd my neck ; 

But though, thank Heaven, I've sav'd my back. 

My ev'ry rib has had a crack. 

And twice, 'tis true, the surgeon's hand 

Has my hard batter'd scull trepann'd ; 

To which I add a broken arm ; 

And now I've told you all the harm 

Which my remembrance bids me trace 

In my adventures of the chace. 

— For these swell'd hands and tender feet 

That fix me in this gouty seat, 

Which keep me coop'd as I appear, 

And as you see me sitting here, 

'Twas not my age of hunting past. 

Which thus have kennell'd me at last : 

It is Port- wine and that alone 

Which brought these wretched symptoms on. 

'Twas not the pleasures of the day 

That bade my stubborn health decay, 

But the libations of the night, 

To which I owe this piteous plight. 

Now of this mansion take a view. 

And, Doctor, I believe it true. 

Could it be gag'd and fiU'd with liquor. 

Myself, my sportsmen and the Vicar, 

Whate'er of wine it might contain, 

Have drank it o'er and o'er again. 

— Philosophers and sage grave men 

Have by their preaching and their pen, 

Enforc'd it as a certain rule 

Of conduct in the human schooJ, 

That some prime feeling doth preside 

In each man's bosom as his guide, 

Or right or wrong, as it may prove 

The passions and affections move. 

Thus some on lower objects pore. 

Others aloft sublimely soar, 

While many take the devious way. 

And scarce know how or where they stray. 



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344 ^-^^ POETRY OF SPORT 

But I ne'er thought of moving higher 

Than a plain, hunting Country-'Scjuire, 

And you will think, perhaps, my aim 

Has been content with vulgar fame, 

When it has been my highest boast, 

To ride the best, and drink the most ; 

To guide the hounds with matchless grace, 

To be the leader of the chace, 

And when 'twas over, to be able 

To lay my guests beneath the table. 

While I with no unsteady head, 

Could walk unstagg'ring to my bed. 

Laugh at a milk-sop's wimp'ring sorrow, 

Nor feel a head-ache on the morrow. 

You grave Divines perhaps may flout it, 

But still I love to talk about it. 

And sometimes too my neighbours join ; 

Though, while they take their gen'rous wine, 

I feel, at length, 'tis very cruel 

To pledge their toasts in water-gruel.' 

William Combe, 1820. 

The Epping Hunt 

' On Monday they began to hunt.' -Chei'y Chase. 

John Huggms was as bold a man 

As trade did ever know, 
A warehouse good he had, that stood 

Hard by the church of Bow. 

There people bought Dutch cheeses round. 

And single Glos'ter flat, — 
And English butter in a lump. 

And Irish — in a//?/. 

Six days a week beheld him stand, 

His business next his heart, 
At counter with his apron tied 

About his counter-pan. 

The seventh in a sluice-house box, 

He took his pipe and pot ; 
On Sundays for ^<?/-piety, 

A very noted spot. 

Ah, blest if he had never gone 

Beyond its rural shed I 
One Easter-tide, some evil guide 

Put Epping in his head I 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PA JRODIES— HUNTING 345 

Kpping for butter justly famed 

And pork in sausage pop't ; 
Where winter time, or summer time, 

Pig's flesh is always chofiL 

But famous more, as annals tell, 

Because of Easter chase ; 
There ev'ry year, 'twixt dog and deer, 

There is a gallant race. 

With Monday's sun John Huggins rose. 

And slapt his leather thigh. 
And sang the burthen of the song, 

* This day a stag must die.' 

For all the live-long day before, 

And all the night in bed. 
Like Beckford, he had nourish'd * Thoughts 

On Hunting' in his head. 

Of horn and mom, and hark and bark, 

And echo's answering sounds, 
All poet's wit hath every writ 

In ^^-rel verse of hounds, 

Alas ! there was no warning voice 

To whisper in his ear, 
Thou art a fool in leaving Cheap 

To go and hunt the deer ! 

No thought he had of twisted spine, 

Or broken arms or legs : 
Not chicken-hearted he, altho' 

'Twas whisper'd of his eggs ! 

Ride out he wouldf|*nd hunt he would, 

Nor dreamt of ending ill ; 
Mayhap with Dr. Ridoufs fee, 

And Surgeon Hunter's bill. 

So he drew on his Sunday boots, 

Of lustre superfine ; 
The liquid black they wore that day, 

Was Warren-t^di to shine. 

His yellow buckskins fitted close, 

As once upon a stag ; 
Thus well equipt he gaily skipt. 

At once, upon his nag. 

But first to him that held the rein, 

A crown he nimbly flung ; 
For holding of the horse ? — why, no — 

For holding of his tongue. 



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346 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

To say the horse was Huggins* own, 

Would only be a brag ; 
His neighbour Fig and he went halves, 

Like Centaurs, in a nag. 

And he that day had got the gray, 
Unknown to brother cit ; 

The horse he knew would never tell, 
Altho' it was a ///. 

A well bred horse he was I wis, 

As he began to show, 
By quickly ' rearing up within 

The way he ought to go/ 

But Huggins, like a wary man. 
Was ne'er from saddle cast ; 

Resolved, by going very slow. 
On sitting very fast. 

And so he jogged to Tot'n'am Cross, 
An ancient town well known. 

Where Edward wept for Eleanor 
In mortar and in stone. 

A royal game of fox and goose. 

To play on such a loss ; 
Wherever she set down her orts^ 

Thereby he put a cross. 

Now Huggins had a crony here. 
That lived beside the way ; 

One that had promised sure to be 
His comrade for the day. 

Whereas the man had chang'd his mind, 
Meanwhile upon the case ! 

And meaning not to hunt at all, 
Had gone to Enfield Chase. 

For why, his spouse had made him vow 

To let a game alone. 
Where folks that ride a bit of blood. 

May break a bit of bone. 

* Now, be his wife a plague for life ! 

A coward sure is he : ' 
Then Huggins turned his horse's head, 

And crossed the bridge of Lea. 

Thence slowly on thro' Laytonstone, 
Past many a Quaker's box, — 

No friends to hunters after deer, 
Tho' followers of a Fox, 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES^HUNTING 347 

And iliany a score behind — before — 

The self- same route inclin'd, 
And minded all to march one way, 

Made one great march of mind. 

Gentle and simple, he and she, 

And swell, and blood, and prig ; 
And some had carts, and some a chaise, 

According to their gig. 

Some long-eaHd jacks, some knacker's hacks, 

(However odd it sounds), 
Let out that day to hunt^ instead 

Of going to the hounds / 

And some had horses of their own. 

And some were forced to job it ; 
And some, while they incline to Hunt^ 

Betook themselves to Cob-it, 

All sorts of vehicles and vans, 

Bad, middling, and the smart ; 
Here roll'd along the gay barouche. 

And there a dirty cart I 

And lo ! a cart that held a squad 

Of costermonger line ; 
With one poor hack, like Pegasus, 

That slaVd for all the Nine I 

Yet marvel not at any load, 

That any horse might drag ; 
When all, that mom, at once were drawn 

Together by a stag ! 

Now when they saw John Huggins go 
At such a sober pace ; 

* Hallo ! ' cried they ; * come, trot away, 

You'll never see the chase ! ' 

But John, as grave as any judge, 
Made answers quite as blunt ; 

* It will be time enough to trot, 

When I begin to hunt I ' 

And so he paced to Woodford Wells, 

Where many a horseman met. 
And letting go the reinsy of course, 

Prepared for heavy wet. 

And lo ! within the crowded door. 

Stood Rounding, jovial elf ; 
Here shall the Muse frame no excuse, 

But frame the man himself. 



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348 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 

A snow white head, a merry eye, 

A cheek of jolly blush ; 
A claret tint laid on by health, 

With master reynard's brush. 

A hearty frame, a courteous bow. 
The prince he learn'd it from ; 

His age about three-score and ten, 
And there you have Old Tom. 

In merriest key I trow was he. 
So many guests to boast ; 

So certain congregations meet, 
And elevate the host. 




- ^-^f^'^^mm^ 



But Huggins, hitching on a tree, 
Brafic Ad off from all the rest 

* Now welcome, lads,' quoth he, * and prads 

You're all in glorious luck : 
Old Robin has a run to-day, 
A noted forest buck. 

* Fair Mead's the place, where Bob and Tom, 

In red already ride ; 
Tis but a s^epy and on a horse 
You soon may go astride^ 

So off they scamper'd, man and horse, 

As time and temper press'd ; — 
But Huggins, hitching on a tree, 

Branched off from all the rest. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 349 

Howbeit he tumbled down in time 

To join with Tom and Bob, 
All in Fair Mead, which held that day 

Its own fair meed of mob. 

Idlers to wit— no Guardians some, 

Of Tattlers in a squeeze ; 
Ramblers, in heavy carts and vans, 

Spectators, up in trees. 

Butchers on backs of butchers' hacks, 

That shambled to and fro ' ! 
Bakers intent upon a buck. 

Neglectful of the dough ! 

Change Alley Bears to speculate, 

As usual, for a fall ; 
And green and scarlet runners, such 

As never climb'd a wall ! 

'Twas strange to think what difference 

A single creature made ; 
A single stag had caused a whole 

5/tf^nation in their trade. 

Now Huggins from his saddle rose, 

And in the stirrups stood ; 
And lo I a little cart that came 

Hard by a little wood. 

In shape like half a hearse, — tho' not 

For corpses in the least ; 
For this contained the lUcr aUve^ 

And not the dear deceased. 

And now began a sudden stir, 

And then a sudden shout. 
The prison-doors were opened wide. 

And Robin bounded out ! 

His antler'd head shone blue and red 

Bedeck'd with ribbons fine ; 
Like other bucks that come to 'list 

The hawbucks in the line. 

One curious gaze of mild amaze. 

He tum'd and shortly took : 
Then gently ran adown the mead, 

And bounded o'er the brook. 

Now Huggins standing far aloof, 

Had never seen the deer, 
Till all at once he saw the beast. 

Come charging in his rear. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Away he went, and many a score 

Of riders did the same, 
On horse and ass — like high and low 

And Jack pursuing game ! 

Good lord ! to see the riders now, 
Thrown off with sudden whirl, 

A score within the purlmg brook, 
Enjo/d their * early purl/ 

A score were sprawling on the grass. 
And beavers fell in show'rs ; 

There was another Floorer there, 
Beside the Queen of Flowers ! 




Till all at once he saw the beast 
Come charging in his rear 



Some lost their stirrups, some their whips, 

Some had no caps to show ; 
But few, like Charles at Charing Cross, 

Rode on in Statue quo. 

* O dear ! O dear ! ' now might you hear, 

* Pve surely broke a bone ; ' 

* My head is sore,' — with many more 

Such speeches from the thrown. 

Howbeit their wailings never mov'd 

The wide satanic clan. 
Who grinned, as once the devil grinn'd 

To see the fall of Man. 



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And hunters good, that understood, 
Their laughter knew no bounds, 

To sec the horses * throwing off,' 
So long before the hounds. 

For deer must have due course of law, 

Like men the Courts among ; 
Before those Barristers the dogs 

Proceed to * giving tongue.* 

But now Old Robin's foes were set, 

That fatal taint to find, 
That always is scent after him. 

Yet always left behind. 

And here observe how dog and man 

A different temper shows, 
What hound resents that he is sent 

To follow his own nose t 

Fowler and Jowler — howlers all, 

No single tongue was mute ; 
The stag had led a hart, and lo ! 

The whole pack followed suit. 

No spur he lack'd, fear stuck a knife 

And fork in either haunch ; 
And every dog he knew had got 

An eye tooth to his paunch ! 

Away, away I he scudded like 

A ship before the gale ; 
Now flew to ' hills we know not of,' 

Now, nun-like, took the vale. 

Another squadron charging now, 

Went oft at furious pitch ; — 
A perfect Tam o' Shanter mob, 

Without a single witch. 

But who was he with flying skirts, 

A hunter did endorse, 
And like a poet seem'd to ride 

Upon a winged horse. 

A whipper in ? no whipper in : 

A huntsman ? no such soul : 
A connoisseur, or amateur ? 

Why, yes,— a Horse Patrole. 

A member of police, for whom 

The county found a nag. 
And, like Acteon in the tale, 

He found himself in stag ! 



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352 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Away they went then dog and deer, 

And hunters all away, — 
The maddest horses never knew 

Mad staggers such as they I 

Some gave a shout, some roll'd about, 

And antick'd as they rode, 
And butchers whistled on their curs, 

And milkmen tally hdd! 

About two score there were, not more. 

That galloped in the race ; 
The rest, alas ! lay on the grass. 

As once in Chevy Chase ! 

But even those that gallopped on. 

Were fewer every minute, — 
The field kept getting more select. 

Each thicket served to thin it. 

For some pulled up, and left the hunt. 

Some fell in miry bogs. 
And vainly rose and * ran a muck,' 

To overtake the dogs. 

And some in charging hurdle stakes. 

Were left bereft of sense. 
What else could be premised of blades, 

That never leam'd to fence ? 

But Roundings, Tom and Bob, no gate. 
Nor hedge nor ditch could stay ; 

O'er all they went, and did the work 
Of leap years in a day. 

And by their side see Huggins ride, 

As fast as he could speed ; 
For, like Mazeppa, he was quite 

At mercy of his steed. 

No means he had, by timely check. 

The gallop to remit. 
For firm and fast, between his teeth, 

The biter held the bitt. 

Trees raced along, all Essex fled 

Beneath him as he sate, — 
He never saw a county go 

At such a county rate ! 

* Hold hard ! hold hard ! you'll lame the dogs : ' 

Quoth Huggins, * so I do, — 
I've got the saddle well in hand. 

And hold as hard as you ! ' 



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JIUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES—HUNTING 353 

Good lord ! to see him ride along, 

And throw his arms about, 
As if with stitches in the side, 

That he was drawing out ! 

And now he bounded up and down, 

Now like a jelly shook : 
Till bump'd and gall'd — yet not where Gall, 

For bumps did ever look ! 

And rowing with his legs the while. 

As tars are apt to ride ; 
With every kick he gave a prick, 

Deep in the horse's side ! 




And like a bird was singing out, 
While sitting on a thorn 

But soon the horse was well avenged. 

For cruel smart of spurs. 
For, riding through a moor he pitched 

His master in a furze ! 

Where sharper set than hunger is 

He squatted all forlorn ; 
And like a bird was singing out 

While sitting on a thorn ! 

Right glad was he, as well might be, 

Such cushion to resign : 
* Possession is nine points,' but his, 

Seemed more than ninety-nine. 



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354 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Yet worse than all the prickly points 
That entered in his skin, 

His nag was running off the while 
The thorns were running in ! 

Now had a Papist seen his sport 
Thus laid upon the shelf, 

Altho' no horse he had to cross, 
He might have crossed himself. 

Yet surely still the wind is ill 
That none can say is fair ; 

A jolly wight there was, that rode 
Upon a sorry mare ! 

A sorry mare, that surely came 
Of Pagan blood and bone ; 

For down upon her knees she went» 
To many a stock and stone ! 

Now seeing Huggins' nag adrift. 
This farmer, shrewd and sage, 

Resolved, by changing horses here, 
To hunt another stage I 

Thro' felony, yet who would let 
Another's horse alone. 

Whose neck is placed in jeopardy 
By riding on his own ? 

And yet the conduct of the man 
Seemed honest-like and fair ; 

For he seem'd willing, horse and all. 
To go before the inare ! 

So up on Huggins' horse he got, 
And swiftly rode away, 

While Huggms mounted on the mare 
Done brown upon a bay ! 

And off they set, in double chase. 
For such was fortune's whim, 

The Farmer rode to hunt the stag. 
And Huggins hunted him ! 

Alas I with one that rode so well 
In vain it was to strive ; 

A dab was he, as dabs should be — 
All leaping and alive ! 

And here of Nature's kindly care. 
Behold a curious proof, 

As nags are meant to leap she puts 
A frog in every hoof ! 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 355 

Whereas the mare, altho' her share 

She had of hoof and frog, 
On coming to a gate stopp'd short 

As stiff as any log ; 

Whilst Huggins in the stirrup stood 

With neck like neck of crane, 
As sings the Scottish song — * to see 

The gate his hart had gane.' 

And, lo I the dim and distant hunt 

Diminjsh'd in a trice : 
The steeds, like Cinderella's team, 

Seem'd dwindling into mice ; 




But tho' there was no loll at ail, 
They could not clear the gate 



And, far remote, each scarlet coat 

Soon flitted like a spark, — 
Tho' still the forest murmur'd back 

An echo of the bark ! 

But sad at soul John Huggins turn'd : 

No comfort could he find ; 
Whilst thus the * Hunting Chorus ' sped 

To stay five bars behind. 

For tho' by dint of spur he got 

A leap in spite of fate — 
But the' there was no toll at all. 

They could not clear the gate. 



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356 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

And, like Fitzjames, he cursed the hunt, 
And sorely cursed the day, 

And mused a new Gray's eleg>' 
On his departed gray ! 

Now many a sign at Woodford Town 

Its Inn-vitation tells : 
But Huggins, full of ills, of course 

Betook him to the Wells. 

Where Rounding tried to cheer him up 
With many a merry laugh : 

But Huggins thought of neighbour Fig 
And calPd for half-and-half. 

Yet, spite of drink, he could not blink 
Remembrance of his loss ; 

To drown a care like his, required 
Enough to drown a horse. 

When thus forlorn, a merry horn 
Struck up without the door, 

The mounted mob have all retum'd, 
The Epping Hunt was o'er ! 

And many horse was taken out 

Of saddle, and of shaft ; 
And men, by dint of drink, became 

The only ^beasts of draught.^ 

For now begun a harder run 
On wine, and gin, and beer ; 

And overtaken men discuss'd 
The overtaken deer. 

How far he ran, and eke how fast. 
And how at bay he stood, 

Deerlike, resolved to sell his life 
As dearly as he could ; — 

And how the hunters stood aloof, 

Regardful of their lives. 
And shunn'd a beast, whose ver>' horns 

They knew could handle knives I 

How Huggins stood when he was rubb'd 

By help and ostler kind. 
And when they cleaned the clay before, 

How * worse remain'd behind.' 

And one, how he had found a horse 

Adrift — a goodly gray ! 
And kindly rode the nag, for fear 

The nag should go astray ; 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 357 

Now, Huggins, when he heard the tale, 

Jump'd up with sudden glee ; 
* A goodly gray ! why, then, I say 

That gray belongs to me ! 

' Let me endorse again my horse. 

Delivered safe and sound ; 
And, gladly, I will give the man 

A bottle and a pound ! ' 




And when they cleared the clay before, 
How • worse remained behind ' 



The wine was drunk, — the money paid, 

Tho' not without remorse. 
To pay another man so much. 

For riding on his horse ; — 

And let the chase again take place 

For many a long, long year — 
John Huggins will not ride again 

To hunt the Epping Deer ! 

Moral 

Thus Pleasure oft eludes our grasp. 

Just when we think to grip her ; 
And hunting after Happiness, 

We only hunt a slipper. 

T. Hooi>, The F.pping Hunt, 1829. 



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358 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Song to the New Year 

Come New Year, and bring with thee 

All true sons of Venerie — 

Men who love that joyous sound, 

The challenge of the eager hound, 

When the wily fox is found. — 

Men who shout the wild halloo 

When the flying fox ihey view — 

Men who love the merry lass — 

Men who circulate the glass — 

All true sportsmen bring with thee, 

Wrapt in the garb of gaiety. 

Cast behind thee sin and sorrow, 

Give us joy to-day, to-morrow : 

Give us life's choice merriment, 

A foremost start, and blazing scent. 

Banish frost and banish snow. 

Give us horses that can go. •* 

Sporting Magazine, July 1835. Also from Iluntin^^ 
Journal of Sport in the West, 

Song 



Stags in the forest lie, hares in the valley- o ! 

Web-footed otters are spear'd in the lochs ; 
Ueasts of the chace that are not worth a Tally-ho I 
All are surpassed by the gorse-cover fox ! 
Fishing, though pleasant, 
I sing not at present. 
Nor shooting the pheasant. 

Nor fighting of cocks ; 
Song shall declare a way 
How to drive care away, 
Pain and despair away, 
Hunting the fox I 

II 
Hulls in gay Seville are led forth to slaughter, nor 

Dames, in high rapture, the spectacle shocks ; 
Hrighter in Britain the charms of each daughter, nor 
Dreads the bright charmer to follow the fox. 
Spain may delight in 
A sport so exciting ; 
Whilst 'stead of bull-fighting 

We fatten the ox ; 
Song shall declare a way, &c. 



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JiUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 359 



III 



England's green pastures are graz'd in security, 
Thanks to the Saxon who car'd for our flocks ! 

He who reserving the sport for futurity, 
Sweeping our wolves away left us the fox. 




When joviality 
Chases formality, 
When hospitality 

Cellars unlocks ; 
Song shall declare a way 
How to drive care away, 
Pain and despair away, 

Hunting the fox. 



R. E. lUJERTON WaRBUKTON, 1845. 



Some Love to Ride 



(Parody on * Some love to roam o'er the dark sea foam ') 

Some love to ride o'er the flowing tide, 

And dash thro' the pathless sea ; 
But the steed's brave bound, and the opening hound. 

And the rattling burst for me. 



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36o THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Some track the deer o'er the mountain clear ; 

But though wary the stalker's eye, 
Be it mine to speed o'er the grassy mead, 

And ride to a scent breast-high. 

Breast-high, &c. 

There are those that love all the joys to prove. 

That crowd in the mantling bowl ; 
Who bow to the nod of the Thracian god, 

And yield him up their soul. 
Some speed the ball thro' the lamp-lit hall. 

With music and revel free ; 
Or woo beauty's glance in the mazy dance. 

But the joys of the chase for me. 

For me, &c. 

W^hen we mount and away at the break of day, 

And we hie to the woodland side ; 
How the crash resounds as we cheer our hounds. 

And still at their sterns we ride. 
Then at dewy eve, when our sport we leave, 

And the board we circle round, 
How each boasts the speed of his fastest steed. 

And the dash of his favourite hound. 

His hound, Ac. 

Then those that will, may the bumper fill, 

Or trace out the dance with glee ; 
But the steed's brave bound, and the opening hound. 
And the rattling burst for me. 

For me, &c. 

Sporting Magazine, 1850^ 

The Good Grey Mare 

Dedicated to the Hon. Robert Grimston^ in kindly rente mbrance- 
of many happy days and pleasant rides 

Oh ! once I believed in a woman's kiss, 

I had faith in a flattering tongue, 
For lip to lip was a promise of bliss. 

When lips were smooth and young. 
But now the beard is grey on my cheek, 

And the top of my head gets bare, 
So little I speak, like an Arab scheik, 

And put my trust in my mare. 

For loving looks grow hard and cold. 

Fair heads are turned away. 
When the fruit has been gathered, the tale been told 

And the dog has had his day. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 361' 

But chance and change 'tis folly to rue, 

Say I, the devil may care I 
Nor grey nor blue is so bonny and true 

As the bright brown eye of my mare. 

It is good for the heart that's chilled and sad 

With the death of a vain desire, 
To borrow a glow that shall make it glad 

From the warmth of a kindred fire. 
And I leap to the saddle, a man indeed ! 

For all I can do and dare. 
In the power and speed that are mine at need 

While I sit on the back of my mare. 

With the free, wide heaven above outspread, 

The free, wide plain to meet, 
With the lark and his carol high over my head, 

And the bustling pack at my feet, 
I feel no fetter, I know no bounds, 

I am free as a bird in the air, 
While the covert resounds in a chorus of hounds 

Right under the nose of the mare. 

We are in for a gallop I Away ! away ! 

I told them my beauty could fly. 
And we'll lead them a dance ere they catch us to-day, 

For we mean it — my lass and I ! 
She skims the fences, she scours the plain, 

Like a creature winged, I swear. 
With snort and strain on the yielding rein ; 

For I'm bound to humour the mare. 

They have pleached it strong ; they have dug it wide ; 

They have turned the baulk with the plough. 
The horse that can cover the whole in its stride 

Is cheap at a thousand, I vow ! 
So I draw her together, and over we sail, 

With a yard and a half to spare ! 
Bank, bull-finch, and rail, it's the curse of the Vale 1 

But I leave it all to the mare. 

Away ! away I they've been running to kill ! 

With never a check from the find. 
Away ! away ! we are close to them still, 

And the field are furlongs behind ! 
They can hardly deny they were out of the game, 

Lost half * the Fun of the Fair,' 
Through the envious blame, and the jealous exclaim,. 

* How that old fool buckets his mare ! ' 



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362 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Who-whoop I They have him ! They're round him ; how 

They worry and tear when he's down I 
'Twas a stout hill-fox when they found him ; now 

Tis a hundred tatters of bro\yn I 
And the riders, arriving as best they can, 

In panting plight declare, 
* That first in the van was the old grey man 

Who stands by the old grey mare.' 

I have lived my life ; 1 am nearly done ; 

I have played the game all round ; 
Hut I freely admit that the best of my fun, 

I owe it to horse and hound. 
With a hopeful heart and a conscience clear 

I can laugh in your face, Black Care ! 
Though you're hovering near, there's no room for you here, 

On the back of my good grey mare. 

(}. J. Whvtk-Mei.villi:, Daily s Magazine, November 1871. 



The 'lint 



Wot makes the 'untsman's 'cart to beat, what makes 'im turn so pale ? 
It isn't jumpin' of the ditch, nor yet the post and rail ; 
Hut it's cverlastin' waitin' on the everlastin' rack 
For the 'untsman of the stag'ounds and the yclpin' stag'ound pack. 
O the 'unt : O the 'unt ! O the dancin', prancin' 'unt ! 

With all the boys a-shoutin' out and frightin' of the deer. 
The courage as was keen at first is gettin precious blunt, 

The cockles of the 'eart is chilled, the limbs they quakes with 
fear. 

W^hat makes the Master swear so 'ard when off we starts at last ? 
And he is like pretendin' of to make a sort o' cast. 
It ain't at 'alf the blessed field as goes a skulkin' round. 
But at them fools as rode the scent, and one as rode an 'ound. 
O the 'un* ! O the 'unt ! O the dashin', slashin' 'unt ! 

A flyin' and a nishin' to the fray ; 
W^ith the boasters soon be'ind and the usual ones in front, 
.•\n' three quarters on the Queen's 'ighway. 

The 'ack 'orse knows above a bit, the young un's but a fool, 
The thoroughbred's a gentleman, the cob's a useful tool, 
Hut most of these will think they bear, afore the day is done, 
A plaster-cast, a horse-marine, and tailor rolled in one, 
O the 'unt I () the 'unt 1 the appallin', fallin' 'unt ! 

With the "orseman rollin' over on the ground. 
While the steed's be'ind the 'edge, and 'is rider just in front, 
With some sparks a floatin sweetly round an' round. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES—HUNTING 363 

The screw upon the roads is lame and stumbles awful vile, 
You'd 'ardly think 'e'd ever get beyond the fust 'alf mile, 
But turn 'im on the grass, my boy, 'e'll think o' days gone by. 
And gallop with the bravest though 'e splits 'isself and die. 
O the 'unt I O the 'unt ! O the bumptious, scrumptious 'unt I 
When the g^n is in your noddle and the 'edge is left be'ind. 
And the jolly open country is a stretchin' right in front, 
With the chorus of the bloomin' dawgs a floatin' on the wind. 

And O I the glorious finish when the deer is brought to book. 
And is bathin' of her beauties in a beastly dirty brook, 
W^hen the whips 'ave cast their whips aside and taken rods instead, 
And are fishin' for to collar-of the poor thing's bobbin 'ead I 
O the 'unt \ O the 'unt \ O the variegated 'unt ! 

With its jumpin' and its funkin' and its fishin' all combined. 
When the red-coats tug be'ind and the quarry tugs in front. 
With* a rope about 'er little neck entwined. 

And when at length the sport is o'er and night's a drawin' nigh, 
And we jogs along together and uncarts the common lie, 
Then each one tells of what 'e did when no one else was near. 
And 'ow 'e jumped that six-barred gate with not a thought of fear. 
O the 'unt ! O the 'unt 1 O the lyin', flyin' 'unt .' 
That we all can boast about at night when the liquor's movin* 
free I 
Then from the start until the take all finds they rode in front, 
Though 'ow the deuce it came about I'm blest if I can see ! 



Bolts 



I've a head like a violin-case ; I've a jaw like a piece of steel ; 

I've a mouth like india-rubber, and devil a bit I feel ; 

So I've had my fun with a biped thing that clambered upon my 

back, 
And I'm in at the death, though I'm panting for breath, right bang 

in the midst of the pack. 

With a cockney sportsman mounted on top, 

That has hired me out for the day, 
It's the moment for me to be oflffor a spree 

In a new and original way. 

In my own most original way. 

Oats I but my spirits were gay I 
When I betted my bit that my rider should sit 

Somewhere else ere the close of the day. 



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THE POETRY OF SPORT 



I started a gentle canter ; I felt him bob about, 

His spurs went in, and the roots of sin, they whipped my hind legs 

out. 
He put his arms around my neck, 'twas kindly meant, I swear, 
But he had no call to spoil it all by pulling out half my hair. 




They whipped my hind legs out 

He left his hat in a puddle, he left his whip on a gate. 
The briars knew where, but 1 don't care, the bits of his tunic wait ; 
He bade me stay, I raced away, to the sound of the huntsman's horn, 
And at last I laid him gently in the arms of a bold blackthorn. 

The whip waits safe in the harness-room, the groom in the stable 

yard. 
It's not that I mind a tanning — my hide's grown far too hard— 
But that tied to a fly I'm safe to die, and on chaff and straw 

abstain, 
For sure as I snort, if they give me this sort, of course I shall do 

it again. 



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With a cockney sportsman mounted on top, 
That has hired me out for the day, 
It's the moment for me to be off for a spree 
In a new and original way. 







In ihe arms of a bold blackthorn 

In my own most original way. 
Oats ! but my spirits were gay I 
When I betted my bit that my rider should sit. 
Somewhere else ere the close of the day. 



Great Guns 

By a Member of the Burstow Hunt 

Scorning the thickest of cover, scorning the closest of gorse. 
We watch the keenest of sportsmen riding his old brown horse ; 
With twenty couple around him, and to every youngster it's clear 
That only the pick of the puppies will hunt in the following year. 



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366 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Yet they all love the Master— the Master he loves each one I 
And if there's a fox in the cover he*ll show us the way to the 
fun ; 
It may send in its brush and surrender, or choose out straight 

courses or rounds, 
It may go where it please, it may climb up the trees, but it 
won't get away from the hounds ! 

He sends us along where the roads are, but mostly he goes where 

they ain't, 
He slips from each cover to cover, till half the young ladies are 

famt ; 
But when the fox steals to the open he welcomes us back to his 

side, 
And the gas-er who fancies his knowledge grows wiser in watching 

him ride. 

If a man plays the fool, \\'h)', he whispers and teaches him how to 
behave, 

If a bounder comes pressing before him, to show that he isn't 
afraid, 

He'll allow him to lead till he's sorry, then show him that know- 
ledge and sense 

Are needed by every rider at timber, or water, or fence. 

He's the friend of the owner and tenant, and welcomes them all to 

the meet, 
But woe to the cockney beginner, who doesn't know stubble from 

wheat I 
He'll think that he's found out a short cut, and is gaining an 

excellent start, 
But find that it cuts him in two ways — and one in the pride of his 

heart. 

From the hour of the meet in the morning to the time of the fading 

of light. 
We follow our Master contented, whene'er we can keep him in 

sight. 
And a view of his coat is our beacon, the sound of his horn is our 

call. 
But his cheer to the hounds when he's near us — ah I that is the 

sweetest of all I 

Then away we can go from the cover, and leaving the prickly 

gorse, 
Can follow that keenest of sportsmen riding his old brown horse ; 
The boaster may say what his road was, or how the great hedges 

flew past, 
I'm thankful to mercies vouchsafed me, if only I'm in at the last. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 367 

For you all love the Master— the Master he loves you I 

And when the fox breaks from the co^ er o' course it'll know 

what to do. 
Just send in its brush and surrender, or run in straight courses 

or rounds, 
It may go where it please, it may climb up the trees, but it 

won't get away from the hounds I 



Jorrocks, or the Sporting Tomlinson 

Now Jorrocks went to sleep one night and dreamt that he was 

dead, 
And he thought a spirit was standing near just close beside his. 

bed. 
The spirit grinned a ghastly grin, as a fox when brought to bay, 
Then slung poor Jorrocks on his back, and bore him far away. 




C£«, 



The spirit grinned a ghastly grin 

Right through the dripping clouds they dipped and down and 

down they fell, 
Till at last they came to a roadside inn, the half-way house to HelL 
The spirit tied our hero up in a sack which would not fit, 
And a vixen at the bar did laugh and giggled till she split ; 



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368 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

But when she found she'd come in two, she had a little cry, 
Then swore it was the bag-man's fault and the spirit answered 
'Ay!' 

* The coverts of sin,' he said, ' were thin, and the Devil had bade 

him go 
And import some n\en from the earth above and carry them down 

below. 
Now here's one understands the game, a good old hunting sort, 
And I guess when the hell-hounds are on his track he'll show some 

pretty sport.' 
At this he filled a goblet full of sparkling liquid flame 
And bade the other spirits there to join and do the same. 
5o very soon the room was full of smoke and oaths and laughter. 
While our poor hero in a sack hung dangling from a rafter. 
Then Jorrocks he was filled with wrath and he began to bluster, 
Though his soul, with fear, had turned as white as a housemaid's 

dirty duster. 
•* Tell me,' quoth he, * I pray what means this most unseemly 

revel '^. 
If I am bound for Hell, be quick and take me to the Devil ! ' 

* You're bound all right,' they answered him, * nor will you soon 

get back. 
For though you're in one now, down there they never give the 

sack. 
It's only fair you should have rest after the toil and strife, 
Since you've been trotting down the road for well nigh all your 

life ! ' 
Then Jorrocks peeping through a hole did yammer, * Let me out I ' 
But the fox-like fiends they only grinned and swung the bag 

about. 
At last they seized their wretched prey whose prayer they would 

not heed, 
And tied the sack on the bony back of a big, black, bounding 

steed. 
From his place of doom, as they bumped along, he saw the stars 

at play 
And his soul was turned to butter as they churned through the 

milky way. 
But they came at last to the gate of Hell, and one spoke loud and 

clear, 

* Come, tell us I pray, what sort of game you've bagged in that 

sacking there } * 
But the demon horse was out of breath and could not make reply. 
So Jorrocks thought of his grammar for once, and answered * It 

is I!' 
The Devil lifted his noble brush, and the little foxes fled, 
"' Aha ! ' quoth he, * so the M.F.H. of the Surrey Hunt is dead ! ' 
And though the price of good hell-hounds is rising day by day, 
I'll eat my mask if the very best on your track we fail to lay. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 369 

Yea, none shall tell that ere it fell, that I once suffered scorn 
From the keenest of British sportsmen that ever in tojvn was 

bom. 
Sit down, sit down upon the slag, while we are getting ready, 
A ride in that old sack would make a ver>' fox unsteady ! ' 
Then did our sportsman being free, look up and up and 

up; 
And * Sure I ' said he, * my sorrow is o'erflowing of its cup I ' 
And then he looked all round and round and loudly uttered 

* Zounds I ' 




X^St^Jr^, 



A big, black, bounding steed 



For Hell seemed overflowing too and pouring out its hounds 
Now scenes began to get confused, as scenes will do in dreams. 
When the world gets topsy-turvy, and nought is as it seems. 
For a whisper passed and at its sound our hero he did run, 
* The sport ye go to two and two ye must pay for one by one ! ' 
He saw a sight that well might fright the boldest human heart, 
Two hundred mounted foxes all a-waiting for the start ! 
He got confused, the hounds drew near, he scanned the country 

round, 
But not a sign of shrub or tree could anywhere be found ; 

B B 



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370 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

He thought again, and as he thought, he watched his trembhng 

knees, 
And then remembered with delight that boots oft covered trees : 
He therefore slipped his brown tops oflT, but found the>''d done him 

drozt/n^ 
For those who brought him here, alas I had left the /rees in 

town. 
Then through his brain there flashed a thought, straight as a well- 
sent rocket, 
He had a sporting novel put within his great coat pocket ; 
So out he took it, and in haste he dived beneath the caver, 
But there was little substance there, alack I he did discover. 
It was as thin as thin could be, no deep and restful places, 
And so he turned, in his despair, and thought about his braces ; 
A brace of foxes would confuse the finest hounds he knew, 
So his suspenders he took off and tore them right in two. 
He got his breeches caked with mire, as onward he did rush. 
Which made him wonder who the deuce would ever get his brush. 
To join in such a masquerade he found a gruesome task 
And stroked his whiskers to be sure he still had on his mask. 
The hounds rushed on, he felt their breath, it cut him as a knife, 
And like an over-eaten fox he bolted for his life. 
The Devil blew upon his horn and set it down to cool. 
Then whipped a hell-bred puppy up and called the thing a fool. 
Now Jorrocks he looked to and fro, but there was little grace. 
For the plains of Hell seemed endless, a desert of naked space. 
And still they come, and still they run, the hounds seem deuced 

fresh 
As their poor prey bore on his way a ponderous load of flesh. 
The pace he felt was getting hot, * In such a prickly heat,' 
He said * no man would come with joy to zny game or meet ; 
\^\i'A^ flying 2\\ my flesh doth crawly I'm blmvn before I die, 
Kfly 's laid on me, how I wish they'd lay me on ayfj'.' 
Still o'er the coal they chased his soul and round and round, and 

round 
Till at last, in a tomb, he found just room to burrow and go to 

ground. 
The fiendish crew now nearer drew, and cried in tones of ire, 
' Did we not pay some fool to-day to stop up these with fire ?' 
The Devil he bowed his head in his fur and yapped out sharp and 

clear 
* CiO forth and say I want to-day some graveyard diggers here. 
For close he lies and deep he lies, and if we give him grace, 
I fear this Surrey hunting man might flout me to the face. 
He'd call my pack a half-bred crew, and me a wretched stag-man, 
If I should fail to see the end of such a bloated bag-man I* 
The diggers came, the diggers dug, and one gripped Jorrocks 

tightly, 
All covered as he was with mud, for once he looked unsightly, 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING 371 

Then to the master him they brought, a simple mould of clay, 
And said, * The brush he must have had he's bartered clean away. 
We've looked him o'er, behind, before, and turned him round and 

round, 
But only two he must have stole could anywhere be found. 
We have handled him, we have dandled him, and traced his spinal 

bone, 
But sure if tooth and nails shew truth, he has no brush of his 

own I ' 
The Devil blew a lood too-too, and took his prey with care. 

* You have scarce the fang of a man,' said he, * but the roots of 

some are there.' 
Then Jorrocks whispered in his ear, * What mean you with that 

knife .' 
Are you about to take my mask, before you take my life } ' 
The huntsman blushed a rosy pink, his heart was filled with 

shame, 
To think that he'd quite forgotten a rule of the grand old game. 
' I'm all o'er-sib to Adam's breed, that 1 should gi\e you pain, 

* But I do not see the way,' said he, * to start you ofif again. 

Go hence, go hence to the upper land, for my companions wait. 
There's no more time for a run to-day, it's getting far too late.' 
To answer this poor Jorrocks failed, the argument it beat him. 
The knife went in, and 'whoop ! ' he heard, *now tear 'im up and 

eat 'im.' 
The steel drove through his quivering lips a very piercing scream 
Which, penetrating slumber sound, cut up his mangled dream. 



The Young British Sportsman 

When the sporting young cockney comes out for a ride 
He acts like a fool, and he shows too much side, 
And he thinks men admire when they only deride 
The form that he shows as a sportsman. 

Now all you young mashers out hunting to-day. 
Stop cracking your lashes and hark to my lay, 
And I'll sing you a sportsman, as far as I may, 

A sportsman that's fit for a sportsman. 

Y'wsX mind you keep clear of the breakfast some give, 
For your wisdom's not great, and as sure as you live 
The liquor will wash it away through your sieve. 

And you'll need all you've got as a sportsman. 

When the funk takes your heart — as it will past a doubt — 
Keep your hand from the flask that )()u long to take out, 
For when whiskey goes in there'll be folly about, 

And it muddles the brain of a sportsman. 

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372 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

But the worst of your foes is the pride in your pate. 
And to seem not to know is the thing that you hate, 
If you try to show off you will meet with the fate 

Of fools who would like to be sportsmen ! 

As you're riding to cover don't look for a rail, 
When you clear it, men call you an ass, if you fail 
You will miss a day's fun, and you'll find that the tale 
Will cling to your back as a sportsman. 

In choosing a hunter take care she is old, 
A knowing old hack is the best 1 am told, 
She'll keep you from being too shy or too bold. 

And teach you the work of a sportsman. 




The language is strong that some give to the young British sportsman 

But if she refuse, then to press her be loath, 

She knows better than you do, of that take your oath, 

And to jump might mean often a fall for you both 

Which might crumple the limbs of a sportsman. 

But when she is willing just give her her head, 
Stick close to your saddle and go where you're led, 
And when you fall off do not fancy you're dead, 

For the mud is made soft to the sportsman. 

If you see the fox sneak from the cover and go 
Away from the open, just lie precious low- 
Close up to the cover, don't shout * Tally-ho I ' 
For it ruins the run of a sportsman. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING m 

If you fancy you know that the huntsman is wrong, 

And think that the fox has some other way gone, 

Keep the thought to yourself, for the language is strong 

That some give to the young British sportsman. 

And remember this rule, if you want to be right. 
That the sport, not the riding, should be your delight ; 
You are mounted to see it, so keep well in sight 

Of the hounds who are really the sportsmen. 

And when you ride home at the end of the day 
Don't brag of your doings the whole of the way, 
You'll be judged by your deeds, not the words that you say, 
And the boaster is seldom a sportsman. 



Au Revoir 

There's a feel in the air, and a look of don't care. 

On the riders half-baked in the sun. 
And the hounds seem asleep, and the scent it won't keep, 
So we know that our hunting is done. 

We have had too much of the eastern wind. 
And the ground has cried for the rain. 
But it seems very hard from a run we're debarred, 
When we cannot go hunting again I 

So it's now good-bye to you all, dear boys. 

We've seen the season through, 
For it's time to shut up the old sport, our own sport, the 
grand sport, 
Yet the time will appear, ere the end of the year, for the 
sport that is always new. 

We may go right away for our work or our play, 

And float round the Earth while we live, 
We may try every resort of amusement or sport, 

But we shan't find what England will give. 

When the leaves fall off from the trees, dear boys, 

And the meadows are steeped in dew, 
We shall turn once more to the old sport, our own sport, the 
grand sport, 
Together we'll come and we'll join in the fun of the sport 
that is always new. 

In the days that seem cold to the weak and the old, 

When the twice breathed air blows damp, 
What a joy we shall find in the kiss of the wind. 

As off to the meet we can tramp. 



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374 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

There's a joy in the thought of the time, dear boys, 

When the days of the summer are through, 
And our thoughts go back to the old sport, our own sport, the 
grand sport. 
When we meet once again, though it sleet or it rain, for 
the sport that is always new. 

There are plenty of sorts of what people call sports, 

There's the way of a man with a maid, 
There is hunting the hare, but for that 1 don't care, 
And of Polo Pm somewhat afraid. 

There's one of them only for us, dear boys. 

Whatever the world may do. 
If there's only a chance of the old sport, our own sport, the 
grand sport. 
We let the rest bide and together we'll ride in the sport that 
is always new. 

There's a game that some play for the whole of the day. 

Of putting a ball in a hole. 
And men grin with delight if they hit it aright 
With a stick that they cannot control. 

Some say they left hunting for this, dear boys, 

But before we believe it is true. 
We must see them out once at the old sport, our own sport, 
the grand sport, 
Then perhaps we may say, why they wandered away from 
the sport that is always new. 

For wherever I've been, or whatever I've seen 

Of rider or fox-hound or horse, 
If you gave them their way they would hunt every day 
And ask for no other resource. 

For whatever they do in the summer, dear boys. 

Beneath all its mystical blue, 
In the autumn they'll turn to the old sport, our own sport, 
the grand* sport. 
Yes, you'll find they" 11 arrive if they're only alive, for the 
sport that is always new. 

There is only one fear that will ever come near 

The sportsman with terrible dread, 
That misfortunes may fold him and bind him and hold him, 
From hunting before he is dead. 

But I wish you a better luck, dear boys — 

Though your steed should be only a screw — 
Than longing in vain for the old sport, our own sport, the grand 
sport, 
Or tearing your hair in a fit of despair for the sport that is 
always new. 



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HUAfOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— HUNTING Z7S 

I am breaking my heart that so soon we must part, 

But what happens is often the best, 
For after this season I'm sure there's good reason 

For giving our horses a rest. 

You can hear the call of the final horn, 

So why should we still remain. 
You have heard my song which is far too long, 

Farewell, till we meet again. 

Heaven knows where we shall go, dear boys, 

And the deuce knows what we shall do, 
Till we're back once more at the old sport, our own sport, the 
grand sport, 
Till the time comes again, as it will, dear boys, for the sport 
that is always new. 

S. F. OUTWOOD. 




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VARIOUS 



Saint Patrick 

No doubt, St. Patrick was an Angler 

Of credit and renown, Sir, 
And many a shining trout he caught, 

Ere he built Dublin town, Sir. 
Old story says, (it tells no lies) 

He fish'd with bait and line. Sir, 
At every throw he had a bite, 

Which tugg'd and shook the twine. Sir. 

In troubled streams he lov'd to fish. 

Then salmon could not see, Sir, 
The trout, and eels, and also pike, 

Were under this decree, Sir, 
And this, perhaps, may solve a point. 

With other learn'd matters. Sir, 
Why Irishmen still love to fish 

Among troubled waters, Sir. 

Some likewise say, and even sware. 

He was a godly saint, Sir, 
And made ' loose fish ' for all the land. 

And trout as red as paint. Sir. 
And as a relic of his power. 

It was his ardent wish. Sir, 
That dear old Erin should always have, 

A number of * odd fish,' Sir. 

Written at Trinity College, Dublin, i8iow 
From The Anglers Song Book. Compiled and edited by 
Robert Blakey. 1855. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS yjl 



Heredity 



Treat children's sport with laughter, 

Or, if you will, with tears ; 
Such joy comes not hereafter, 

Through all our later years. 
We scarcely now can measure 

By backward cast of thought. 
The ecstasy of pleasure 

Crushed from the lees of sport. 

Though years may rend in sunder — 

And what will time not rend ? — 
The bright thin line of wonder. 

With mystery at the end ; 
Yet passion's quenchless ember 

Is with us even yet ; 
Through children we remember 

What else we might forget. 

We watch the eager glances 

By keen expectance cast, 
To where the light float dances 

In every playtul blast. 
Below, what hidden treasure 

May now be hovering near, 
Pausing, to add to pleasure 

A spice of groundless fear. 

See how the forms so soundless 

Now quicken into life. 
Hope pours forth measure boundless 

On the approaching strife, 
Ah, should that rod dismember, 

What sorrow and regret 
'Twill be but to remember. 

Yet harder to forget. 

Now from those hidden places — 

The carp's soft well-loved home — 
Watched for by eager faces 

At last he has to roam. 
In vain his fits of leisure, 

In vain his angry strain, 
For, through the gills of pleasure 

Has passed the hook of pain. 



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378 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Fain would he now unbidden 

Return the tempting bait, 
In which was deftly hidden 

The deadly barb of Fate. 
He'll fast till next December 

Should he escape the net, 
Or, anyway remember 

Until he shall forget. 

Each tug of consternation 

Gives zest to careful play, 
When eager expectation 

Is held in caution's sway. 
But any violent measure, 

Or any sudden strain, 
Might change the foam of pleasure 

To froth of fretful pain. 

Now is the battle ending. 

And firmness skill must lake, 
For though the rod is bending 

It will not lightly break. 
Children can scarcely measure 

The strength of line as yet, 
And by each loss remember 

The fish they failed to get. 

The net is waiting ready 

Its prize to safely fold, 
Keep eye and hand both steady, 

Nor slacken now your hold. 
Grant but a scanty measure 

Of line, lest he regain 
His earlier flower of pleasure, 

Your latter leaf of pain. 

'Tis done. Among the rushes 

His glittering body lies. 
Excitement throbs in blushes. 

Light dances in the eyes. 
1 feel the dying ember 

Of sport burns in me yet. 
What childhood's days remember 

Age scarcely will forget. 

From a MS. No datf, but cvidemh after one of Swinburne's Ballads. 



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" The net is waitinglready." 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS 379 

Going out a Shooting 

Some friends of mine for mirth and glee, 
Fix'd on a day to have a spree, 
When 'twas agreed upon that we, 

Should all go out a shooting. 
There was Will Smith and Stephen Shore, 
.With Harr>' Blunt and Bobby Blower, 
Besides old Muggins and Dickey Moore, 
I think in all full half a score. 
Towards the autumn's dreary close, 
When frost begins to nip the toes, 
These friends of mine they did propose, 

We should go out a shooting. 

With powder, wadding, dog, and gun, 

Up, sportsmen, up I the day's begun, 

I never shall forget the fun 

We had when going a shooting. 

Twas at old Muggins' house we met, 
All ripe for fun, a jovial set, 
We had cigars, and just a wet. 

Before we went a shooting. 
Old Muggins he a musket had, 
Which was his father's when a lad. 
While Bobby Blower made a fuss 
About his uncle's blunderbuss. 
Determined all things should be right, 
We primed and loaded over night, 
Some full four hours before 'twas light 

We were to start a shooting. 

As off down Fenchurch-street we set. 
Towards St. George's Church to get, 
A lot of the New Police we met. 

As we went out a shooting. 
The Searjeant quick did collar me, 
The rest, as they the guns did see. 
Sung out, * Lads, here's a burglary I 
What's in those bundles — Come, let's (see?)' 
With that a dreadful fight arose. 
And Muggins got a broken nose, 
So off we to the Station-house goes. 

Instead of out a shooting. 
At length, by paying, something each, 
As we for freedom did beseech, 
We did contrive to mend the breech, 

And started off a shooting. 



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38o THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Every thing then went on right well, 
No pleasure sure could ours excell, 
Until we came to Camberwell, 
When we a precious fog did smell ; 
So thick and in such clouds arose, 
Like cobwebs it hung on our clothes, 
None saw an inch before his nose, 

As we went out a shooting. 
Disasters still did follow nigh. 
For as we crossed o'er Peckham Rye, 
Bob poked his gun in Bill Smith's eye, 

As (we) went out a shooting. 

At length so dreadful came the fog. 

Poor Muggins fell into a bog ; 

His gun went off, and shot his dog 

As dead as any wooden log ; 

And when he again on dry ground stood, 

We laughed, though forced to chew the cud. 

To see his mouth stuffed full of mud, 

Through going out a shooting. 
We halted just about day break, 
As all our heads began to ache. 
And thought we would some breakfast take. 

Ere we commenced our shooting. 

Upon a stile then nicely moored, 
We had of meat a perfect hoard. 
The gin and water we had stored. 
Into our tumblers then we poured. 
But it seems, misfortune never halts, 
For Muggins' wife who had her faults, 
Instead of gin had packed up Salts, 

For him to take a shooting. 
We every step through rain did come, 
At last we saw poor Muggins home. 
Who vows he ne'er again will roam, 

At least to go a shooting. 

For my part I can only say 

I never spent so sad a day, 

And as to birds, black, white, or grey, 

We did not see one all the way. 

Now Muggins sits at home and crams, 

And sells his butter, eggs, and hams. 

But as for sporting fairly d s 

The day he went a shooting. 
With jwwder, wadding, &c. 



Rallad. 

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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES—VARIOUS 381 



Don't talk of September 

Don't talk of September ! — a lady 

Must think it of all months the worst I 
The men are preparing already 

To take themselves off on the first : 
I try to arrange a small party, 

The girls dance together,— ^how tame I 
I'd get up my game of ^cart6, 

But they go to bring down their game. 

Last month, their attention to quicken, 

A supper I knew was the thing ; 
But now from my turkey and chicken 

They're tempted by birds on the wing. 
They shoulder their terrible rifles, 

(It's really too much for my nerves .') 
And slighting my sweets and my trifles^ 

Prefer my Lord Yi^xxy's preserves^ 

Miss Lovemore, with great consternation, 

Now hears of the horrible plan. 
And fears that her little flirtation 

Was only a flash in the pan ! 
Oh I marriage is hard of digestion, 

The men are all sparing of words ; 
And now, 'stead oi popping the question^ 

They set off* to pop at the birds. 

Go, false ones, your aim is so horrid, 

That love at the sight of you dies ; 
You care not for locks on the forehead, — 

The locks made by Manton you prize I 
All thoughts sentimental exploding^ 

Like^«/j I behold you depart : 
You heed not, when priming and loading. 

The load you have left on my heart. 

They talk about patent percussions. 

And all preparations for sport, 
And these double barrel discussions 

Exhaust double bottles of port ! 
The dearest is deaf to my summons, 

As off on his pony he jogs ; 
A doleful condition is woman's ; 

The men are all gone to the dogs, 

Thomas Haynes Bayly, The Sportstnan, 1833. 



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382 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

The Double Barrel 

When round the Sportsman's festive board 

The sparkling bumper passes, 
With joyous toasts each flask is stored, 
* The Queen I ' and * Ail good Lasses ." 
The Tur/^ the Stubble^ P^ox^ or Stag^ 
The Harriers^ or some winning Nagy 

The * Long Dogs ' or the Race ! 
Some drink a favorite Pointer^ some 

The * Patrons of the Chace: 
Next Shootings Coursing^ Anglings come 

The flowing bowl to grace ; 
But ever, while we Hve, 
The ''Barrel.'^ let us give, 

With three times three, huzza I 
For we hoop the Barrel 9Sidifill the Barrel^ 
And tap the Barrel and swill the Barrel^ 
We load the Barrel and prime the Barrel^ 
Present the Barrel zxAfire the Barrel y 
And shoulder the Barrel and bottle the Barrel ^ 

And rt^r/>7>t and yfn? away I 

CHORUS 

We shoulder the Barrel and ^^///^ the Barrel^ 
And ^rzV;^ andy?r.f away I 

For table sports there's Meux's Entire, 

And Barclay mixed with Perkins, 
And Hanb'r/s Barrels full oifire^ 

While Trueman warms their workings. 
When shooting wagers Sportsmen lay 
An Egg or Manton they display, 

To bring the coveys down. 
And bag some dozen brace a-day, 

To feed their friends in Town. 
Percussion cap and ramrod gay, 

And Barrel nicely brown ; 
Then ever while you live, 
The Barrel let us give, 

With three times three, huzza I 

For we hoop^ &c. 

The Sporting Farmer's Harvest Night 

The Barrets value prizes ; 
And Old October makes more bright 

Fairs, Races, or Assizes. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS 383 

The soldiery who at Waterloo 
Or Egypt^ reap'd the harvest due, 

Where British arms prevail, 
The Barrel gaily broach'd, when full 

His spirits to regale ; 
And f;lass or trigf^er^ took a pull 

At powder or of ale. 
Then ever while we live, 
The Barrel let us give, 

With three times three, huzza ! 
For we hoop^ &c. 

And may good-natured Johnny Bull^ 

His friends while entertaining, 
Fill all their jolly Barrels full, 

And yet have store remaining ; 
And Cellar, Orchard, House and Field, 
Old English cheer superior yield, 

And plenty be his lot ! 
Ne'er may he want for gold or game 

Or be by friends forgot : 
And all he marks with honest aim 

Turn out a lucky shot. 
And let us while we live. 
The Barrel boldly give 

With three times three, huzza I 
For we hoop^ &c. 
T. DiBDlN, The Sportsman , August 1839. 

Sonnet 

TO LORD WHARNCLIFFE, ON HIS (JAMK BILL 

I'm fond of partridges, I'm fond of snipes, 

I'm fond of black cocks, for they're very good cocks — 

I'm fond of wild ducks, and I'm fond of woodcocks, 

And grouse that set up such strange moorish pipes. 

I'm fond of pheasants with their splendid stripes - 

I'm fond of hares, whether from Whig or Tory— 

I'm fond of capercailzies in their glor)% — 

Teal, widgeons, plovers, birds in all their types : 

All these are in your care. Law-giving Peer, 

And when you next address your Lordly Babel, 

Some clause put in your Bill, precise and clear, 

With due and fit provision to enable 

A man that holds all kinds of game so dear 

To keep, like Crockford, a good (iaming Table. 

Thomas H(X)D, Poetical Works, Boston 1856. 



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384 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Elegy in the Kennels 

The rising mist foretells the opening day, 
The foxhounds slowly move toward the meet. 

The huntsman onward plods his weary way 
And leaves me ti-rapt in meditation sweet. 

Now fades the glimmering warmth that once he felt, 
And all his flesh a biting stillness knows, 

Save when the welcome flask the ice may melt, 
And pleasant trickling lull his dreary woes. 

Save when from yonder well-conducted pack 

Some foolish pup will riot on the way, 
Needing a warming influence on its back, 

The biting line which severs sport from play. 

Beyond those leafless elms and laurels' shade 

The turrets of a noble mansion peep ; 
Beneath, the master of the pack is laid 

Still wrapt in deep and most melodious sleep. 

The muffled calls of soft, mist-laden morn 
Have o'er his dreams a fitful influence shed, 

The cock's shrill clarion seems an echoing horn, 
He hunts in dreams and takes his rails in bed. 

For him now soon the blazing hearth shall bum, 
And busy housemaids ply their morning care. 

The patient hack awaits her sportless turn 
And envies much her brother hunter's share. 

Oft in her earlier days she too has known 
The early start, the wild and glad delight 

Of maddening speed, and now she must atone 
For too great joy by but a passing sight. 

Let not young blood bursting with pride of sport 
Mock at her lot or scorn her present state, 

Nor thoroughbreds with a disdainful snort 
Think they are destined for a nobler fate. 

The boast of pedigree, the pomp of power, 

The matchless speed, the leap that knows no bounds, 

Await alike the inevitable hour, — 

The paths of glory lead but to the hounds. 

And you, ye proud young hunter, think no scorn 
If memory of their deeds retains no proof. 

Or if to yonder hall shall ne'er be borne 
The silver-mounted relic of their hoof. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS 385 

Can pin-stored cushion or an inkstand bring 

Back to its stall the dear departed steed ; 
Can honour's voice, engraved upon the thing, 

Call back the pleasure of some bygone deed ? 

Perchance to this forsaken spot is brought 

Some mare upon whose fading lines we trace 
Points, that to wiser owners would have taught 

Her marvellous capacity to race. 

But knowledge, to some souls, its ample store 

Rich with the spoils of time can ne'er impart ; 
Her foolish owner lives but to deplore 

His sixteen stone that broke her eager heart. 

Full many a horse of purest blood, I ween 

Of man's blind ignorance must bear the stab ; 
Full many a racer has to blush unseen 

Between the blinkers, in a London cab. 

Some Isinglass that once with matchless speed 

Might well have heard victorious shouts of joy 
Is deemed by ignorance a worthless weed, 

And gallops round the Row a lad/s toy. 

Far from the madding crowd's more noble strife 

His sober wishes never learned to stray, 
But round the ring of fashionable life 

He keeps the even canter of his way. 

The thoughtless world to victory may bow. 

Exalt the winner, idolise success ; 
But in these precintcs I would wander now 

i'o those whom fortune ne'er conspired to bless. 

And I, who mindful of th' unhonour'd dead, 

Do in these notes their woeful lot relate. 
Am by this spot's associations led 

To meditate thus sadly on their fate. 

The good and bad, when death gives place to strife. 
Have hounds alike for tombstone and for tomb ; 

The hunter mocks the vanity of life, 

And still pursues the emblem of his doom. 

Can he, when hounds race o'er some distant mead, 
See them, as scattered tombstones, fleck the green, 

And on each one a different writing read 
In memory of misfortunes that have been 1 

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386 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Epitaph 
Here rests a comrade who, upon this earth, 

Had neither fame nor happy fortune known, 
They worked and starved him from his very birth 

And left us nothing but his skin and bone. 

AiNON. 

Limerick Races 

I am a simple Irish lad, I've resolv'd to have some fun, sirs, 
So to satisfy my mind, to Limerick town I come, sirs ; 
Oh, murther I what a precious place, and what a charming city. 
Where the boys are all so free, and the girls are all so pretty. 
Musha ring a ding a da, 

Ri too ral laddy O, 

Musha ring a ding a da, 

Ri too ral laddy O. 

It was on the first of May when I began my rambles, 
When everything was there, both jaunting cars and gambols ; 
I looked along the road what was lined with smiling faces, 
All driving off ding-dong, to go and see the races. 

So then I was resolved to go and see the race, sirs. 

And on a coach-and-four I neatly took my place, sirs, 

When a chap calls out, * behind I ' and the coachman dealt a blow, 

sirs. 
Faith, he hit me just as fair as if his eyes were in his poll, sirs. 

So then I had to walk, and make no great delay, sirs, 
Until I reached the course, where everything was gay, sirs ; 
It's then I spied a wooden house and in the upper story, 
The band struck up a tune, called, * Garry Owen and glor>'.' 

There was fidlers playing jigs, there was lads and lasses dancing, 
And chaps upon their nags round the course, sure, they were 

prancing ; 
Some was drinking whisky punch, while others bawl'd out gaily. 
Hurrah, then for the shamrock green, and the splinter of shillelah. 

There was betters to and fro, to see who would win the race, sirs. 
And one of the sporting chaps of course came up to me, sirs ; 
Says he, * I'll bet you fifty pounds, and I'll put it down this minute,* 
'Ah, then, ten to one,' says I, * the foremost one will win it.' 

When the players came to town, what a funny set was they, 
I paid my two thirteens to go and see the play ; 
They acted kings and cobblers, queens, and everything so gaily, 
But I found myself at home when they struck up Paddy Carey. 
Musha ring a da, &c. 

Crampton Ballads. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES^VARIOUS 387 

The Dirge of the Defaulter 

A FRAGMENTARY PARODY 

Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet the place is still ; 
Leave me here, and when you want me, whistle 'twixt your fingers 

shrill. 
'Tis the place and all around it, * as it used to was to be ; ' 
Sweeping wildly o'er the Downs, career the breezes fresh and free ! 
Epsom Downs that in the distance overlook the smiling plain, 
And the smoky crown of London brooding over dome and fane. 
Many a time from yon enclosure, with a palpitating heart, 
Did I watch the Derby horses sloping downwards to the start ; 
Many a time I saw the war-cloud sweeping round the dreaded 

curve, 
Where the game 'uns make their effort, and the craven coursers 

swerve ; 
There about the Ring I wandered, filling up with anxious care 
That tiny-pencilled volume, not as yet beyond * compare ; ' 
When the * centuries ' before me, like a glorious vision shone. 
And I stuck to every dead 'un like a limpet to a stone ; 
When I dipt into the future, far as human pluck could dip, 
Ere as yet the weights were published, or the public had the tip : 
In the spring a fuller scarlet gleams on Martin Starling's back — 
In the spring the wanton master to his trainer gives the sack — 
In the spring a livelier chorus at the Sporting Clubs is met — 
In the spring a young man's * fancy' slightly turns his thought to 

bet. 
Then his cheek was rather redder than it was before he dined. 
And I fully thought to fathom all the secrets of his mind : 
And I said, * My lovely William, speak and tell the truth to me ; 
People say that you've a dead 'un — shall I take it so to be? * 
O'er the trainer's crimson'd visage came a deeper shade of red. 
Such as I have seen in beetroot, or a vernal rhubarb-bed ; 
And he turned, his bosom shaken with a simulated sigh. 
And methought I twig^''d a twinkle in the corner of his eye ; 
Saying, * I have hid his failings, fearing they should knock him 

out ; ' 
Saying, * Do they back him, Joey ?' I replied, * Without a doubt.' 
Up I took my betting-book, and laid against him like a man. 
Every time I wrote his name, my hand in 'golden numbers' ran. 
Yet I kidded as I betted, and I tipped my friends aright ; 
* Costermonger for the Derby— Coster beats 'em out of sight.* 
Many a morning at the Comer did I ring the corpse's knell, 
And my pulse beat rather higher to accommodate a swell ; 
Many an evening at the * Albert ' did I watch the market's tone. 
And my spirits rose exulting when I found he hadn't * gone.' 

c c 2 



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388 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

O my William, false and shallow, thief and liar, rogue and rip, 

O my addle-pated rashness in relying on your tip I 

Falser than a Wclsher's promise, frailer than a fallen dove, 

Puppet of a robber gang, and servile to a Jewish love ! 

Can you have the face to greet me ? — having known you, I decline 

To continue the acquaintance, or be any pal of thine. 



Had I dipt into the future, what a vision had I seen 
(Ere as yet my days were blighted, and my life was all serene) — 
Seen 'the Hiir in revel rolling, argosies of tiny broughams. 
Temporary brides of pleasure with their dissipated grooms ; 
Heard the millions roar ' They're coming,' where I tremulously sat, 
While a nation for the moment dofPd the m^ny-fashioned hat. 
Far and wide a mighty murmur through the craning myriads ran, 

* Costermongcr for a monkey,' and I watched him in the van 
Till the frenzy had subsided, and his number* on the rope 
IJrought conviction to my bosom, and I thought it time to slope ; 
For the common sense of most had backed him on his public form. 
And I stood a trifle over, and had caught it rather warm. 

So I cut it : the exertion, quite unwonted, left me dry, 

Like to one who calls for * soda,' leering with a bloodshot eye ; 

Eyes to whose lack-lustre vision everything seems whirling 

round 
And from out the throat's Sahara grates an incoherent sound. 
Quickly rose the angry chorus of my creditors in wrath, 
But I saw it would be madness to attempt to cross their path ; 
Yet I doubt not had I paid them but a shilling in the pound 
They had spared my injured carcase as it lay upon the ground. 
What is that to me who wander, with the hounds upon my track, 
On from cover unto cover, like a fox before the pack ? 
Fain I'd fly, but lacking courage, here I wander as before, 
Still a soft infatuation binds me to the scenes of yore. 
Fain I'd fly, but whither, whither should my doubting footsteps 

tend. 
Moving on through all the world without a sixpence or a friend ? 
Hark ! my comrades whistle shrilly, they to whom my tale of tears 
Is a butt for their amusement and a target for their jeers. 
Shall it not be shame to me to herd with such a rabble rout — 
Needy nobbier, seedy sharper, and imaginative tout — 
No ! 'twere surely better far to pocket all my senseless pride, 

* Put a beggar on to horseback, to the devil he will ride.* 
So together let us travel, birds of one ill omcn'd birth, 
Better revel with the devil than be ciphers on the earth. 

Here, at least, I'm no one — nothing. Oh ! for some secure retreat 

Midst the advertising tipsters, in that unpretending street 

Where of tremulous delirium my father hopp'd the twig, 

And I was left to hunger, or to borrow, or to prig. 

Oh to seek some desert island, there to wander far and wide 

With my gun upon my shoulder — not * the bayonet by my side I ' 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS 389 

Nothing to remind of England ; * mellow peers,' or penny shies, 
Croups of lords and legs in friendly cluster, cards, and leaded dice. 
Never knocks the midnight bailiff, or the creditor at noon, 
Nips the 'possum up a gum-tree, grins the everlasting 'coon : 
No comparing, no defaulting, never comes the settling day 
When the winners draw the rhino but the losers keep away. 
There I think I might be happy, rather than a loafer here 
In the dirty-parlour'd pot-house from the sight of those I fear ; 
There the ruling master- passion would have scope and breathing 

space, 
I will train the cassowar}-^, teach the dodo how to race ; 
There across the boundless prairie they shall race and they shall 

run. 
With a chorus of gorillas to applaud the screaming fun : 
I myself the handicapper, clerk of course, and referee. 
Shall lay the odds * to monkeys' to the plunging chimpanzee ! 
Fool, to maunder thus and drivel ! Don't I know it can't be so ? 
Conscience whispers, * Not for Joseph, if he knows it ; Oh dear no I * 
I to make a book on dodos I I who managed — very near — 
To cop a hundred thousand in Caractacus's year ! 
How could I through desert places tamely rest content to rove — 
I, the 'cutest blade in London, and the most designing cove? 
I, that rather held it better to perform upon the dead 
Than be troubled by the living, and be beaten by a head ? 
Is there nothing I tan turn to ? nothing worth a happy toss ? 
Let the shilling spin decisive of my profit or my loss ; 
Heads — I start the tipping business, k la Youatt William Gray ; 
Tails— I tout for shilling swindles ' in a quiet sort of way.' 
Some disinterested party, with a hundred pounds to lend, 
Pay my bills, and square the bailiff— be the poor defaulter's friend ! 
Ah ! methinks 1 see an opening- but the future shall disclose 
All my plan of operations, see the limit of my woes. 
Howsoever these things be, a long farewell to Epsom Downs, 
Now the lists are full against me, now on me the bagman frowns. 
Comes a Steward of the Meeting, black as ' Day and Martin's ' best, 
Scowling, motions me to mizzle, and I follow his behest. 
Let me cut from Epsom Downs, in rain, or hail, or fire, or snow, 
For a mighty crowd surrounds me roaring * Welsher,' and I go. 
' Ampiiion,' Baily's Magazine, March 1868. 



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390 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Bookey 

( With apologies to * Tommy ') 

I went toward the Members' stand, my patrons to be near, 
The keeper at the gate, sez he, * We want no Bookeys here ; ' 
The swells a-passin' through they grinned and sniggered fit to die 
I paid the sum for Tattersall's, and to myself sez I : 




A bawlincj odds 



O it's Bookey this, and Bookey that, and ' Bookey, go away ; 
We're far too swell to have you near, so by the railings stay ; 
Behind the railings is your place, so please behind them stay. 
And when we want you we will come.' So there I had to 
stay. 

I looked above the iron rails, as patient as could be, 
I saw they'd room for titled rogues, though they had none for mc ; 
We are not fit to mix with them — our calling's far too low — 
But if we stopped away, I guess, they'd find it precious slow. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS 391 

For it's Bookey this, and Bookey that, and *Bookey, keep 

away ; ' 
But there's safety in the Bookey when the time comes round 

to pay ; 
When the lime comes round to pay, my lords, the lime comes 

round to pay ; 
You feel safest with the Bookeys when the time comes round 

to pay. 

Yes, making mock of those you use, and for your pleasure keep. 
Is cheaper far than honour — and with some that's deuced cheap ; 
And betting with a Bookey, on a certain tip you've got. 
Is safer far than it would be with some of your own lot. 

Then it's Bookey this, and Bookey that, and * Bookey, don't 

come near ; ' 
But it's * Where's my good friend Dickey Jones?' when the 

numbers do appear ; 
When the numbers do appear at last, the numbers do appear ; 
O it's * Where's my best of Bookeys?' when the numbers do 
appear. 

We ain't all whitewashed angels, nor we ain't all blacklegs, too. 
But men as fancies betting, most remarkable like you ; 
And if you find our language not always to your mind, 
A-bawling odds through railings don't make voices too refined. 
While it's Bookey this, and Eookey that, and * Bookey, fall 

behind ; ' 
But they come and look us up at times, when tips are in the 

wind ; 
When tips are in the wind, my boys, when tips are in the 

wind ; 
They come upon the strict q.t. when tips are in the wind. 

They talk about reforming us, but, if they wish to try. 

They'd better sweep the top-floor first, for dirt will downward fly. 

It's little use our clearing up before they make a start. 

For we shall always be, as now, their lower counterpart. 

For it's Blackleg this, and Blackleg that, and ' Chuck him out, 
the cad I ' 

If we, like other folks get broke, or trot oif to the bad ; 

And it's Bookey this, and Bookey that, and treat him as you 
please ; 

But Bookey ain't a blooming ass — you bet that Bookey sees. 

S. V. OUTWOOl). 



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392 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



The Laws of the Road 

The Laws of the Road are a paradox quite, 

For when you are travelling along, 
If you keep to the LEFT you'll be sure to be RIGHT, 

If you keep to the RIGHT you'll be WRONG. 

Sporting Magazine, September 1793. 

To Ride or not to Ride? 

To ride or not to ride ? that is the question : 

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer 

The jeers and scoffs of hare-brain'd jockies, 

Or boldly mount the prancing steed, 

And by advent'rous gallop end them ? 

To ride, to walk no more ; and by a horse 

Of stout abilities, to say we end 

The heart-ache, and the thousand weary strides 

The London cockney takes, 'tis a consummation 

Devoutly to be wished. To ride— to fall — 

Perchance to break one's neck ; aye, there's the rub, 

For in that ride what various ills may come. 

When we have trotted on some few score miles, 

Must give us pause — there's the respect 

That makes the unwilling walker bear 

The painful toil of padding all his life. 

For who would bear the whips and taunts of coachmen, 

The horse-dealer's wrong, the jockey's contumely, 

The jokes of country girls, the buck's assurance, 

The insolence of chairmen, and the spurns 

Of brawny porters in the crowded streets. 

When he himself might his quietus make 

Upon a gentle pony? who would fardels bear, 

To groan and sweat under a heavy load ? 

But that the dread of ev'17 untried horse. 

Whose undiscovered humours and whose tricks 

No traveller returns well pleased to tell, 

And makes us rather walk in clouted shoes 

Than fly to horses that wc know not of 

Thus horror does make cowards of us all ; 

And thus the resolution of our riding 

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of fear, 

And beaux and cits, of genteel life and taste, 

With this regard, from Tattersall's turn away, 

And lose the name of horsemen. 



Sporting Magazine, March 1815. 
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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS 393 



The Sporting Philosopher; or, The 
Loser s Consolation 

In every sport, I wish'd by all, 

Top sawyer to be reckon'd ; 
And tho' \n fight no principal^ 

I've often been a second.' 
If on the Turf no first-rate Swell, 

Prime Sportsman, or Head Buck, 
With me brother Whip can tell, 

Tis all the fault of iuck ! 
But win or lose, whate'er my lot, 

I've learnt in Fortune's school, 
That come Life's crosses e'er so hof^ 

'Tis best to take things cool ! 

I've follow'd luck at Easter-tide 

W^ith City Pack so nice, 
Because in three days' dashing ride 

I ne'er was thrown but twice ! 
With red or line^ with spur or boot^ 

Whene'er my chance I try. 
The game I neither catch nor shoot, 

I've cash enough to buy. 

Then win or lose, &c. &c. 

One day with neat percussion Cap 

I gently took my aim, — 
The barrel burst — I got a rap — 

So luck preserv'd the dame ! 
With/««/, like patience in a boat. 

Another time I fish'd, 
When two mad Bleak jump'd down my throat, 

And I was nearly dish'd ! 
Yet win or lose, &c. &c. 

A game at Whist I love to play. 

But 'tis an awkward joke. 
That, through ill litck^ as some folks say, 

I now and then revoke / 
At Cricket when we try a match. 

It's luck beyond a doubt — 
For when the game I'm safe to catch, 

They're sure to catch me out I I 
Yet win or lose, &c. &c. 



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394 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

I've play'd a knowing knife and fork, 

And bet on what I eat ; 
'Gainst Time a wager I can walk, 

And yet in both am beat : 
For eating Hasty Pudding hot, 

Or thro' Horse Collar grin, 
Or jump in sacks — no matter what — 

My rivals always win. 

Yet win or lose, &c. <S:c. 

A Lotfry Ticket once I found — 

Such luck had 1 to thank 
Next number to ten thousand pound! 

'Twas drawn and proved — a blank ! I 
I won a Race ; when ask'd to pay. 

The black-legg'd loser fled ; 
And, what was worse, he ran away 

With Her I meant to wed 1 
Yet win or lose, whate'er my lot, 

I've learnt in Fortune's school. 
Come loss or crosses e'er so hot^ 

'Tis best to take things cool ! 

T. DnmiN, The Sportsman , August 1839. 



Bowling 



The rudiments of sciences 
In bowling may be found ; 

For 'tis in vain to think to bowl. 
Till you first know the ground. 




The fickleness of fortune 

In emblem here is seen ; 
For often those that touch the block 

Are thrown out of the green. 

Of courtiers and of bowlers, 
The fortune is the same ; 

Each jostles t'other out of place. 
And plays a sep'ratc game. 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES-^VARIOUS 395 

In bowling, as in battle, 

The leader's apt to claim 
The glory to himself alone, 

Tho' the followers get the game. 

The jack is like a young coquet ; 

Each bowl resembles man ; 
They follow wheresoe'er she leads 

As close as e'er they can. 

For tho' in other gaming 

A blockhead be in jest, 
Who gets nearest to the block-head, 

In bowling is the best. 

[Part of an old song,) 

Cricket 

Tune : * The Fine Old English Cientleman ' 

You ask a song, and 'twould be wrong to disappoint your call, 
Yet what was once thought passable will now scarce pass at all ; 
Our songs are all call'd vaudevilles^ our games are AcsLvta^ 
And, except a match at cricket, very few know how to play 
At any good old English sports which made our fathers gay. 

Chorus — At any good, &c. 

At fairs and wakes, though tabors, pipes, and fiddles were the 

thing. 
Our modern l'At;ANiNi dows now play but on one string, 
And baited Bulls and Bears who liked the sport, now think it 

strange, 
That with lame Ducks they only are allow'd to sport and range^ 
With jobbers, underwriters, and good Peoples upon 'Change. 

Chorus— With jobbers, &c. 

Then since we yet have Cricket left, in which we can rejoice, 
I only wish my muse could praise it with a crickefs voice ; 
And if your critics catch me outy I've only this to say. 
My pen, though worn by many years, is ready to make play. 
And guard my wicket, merrily, and boldly bowl away. 

Chorus— And guard, &c. 

Old England is a type of what good cricketers intend, 
Our constitution is the post true batsmen will defend ; 
Our enemies may give us bcUlSy and glory in their guns, 
While we stand firm and stop 'em all, for John Bull never runs, 
For as his fathers bravely fought, so fight his gallant sons ! 

Chorus — For as his, &c. 



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396 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Among our modern Cricketers^ 'tis whimsical to find 

What matches have been made among the lame^ and deaf^ and 

blind I 
Sometimes a set of one-arm' /i men into the lists have jump'd. 
And one-eyed men have taken arms, and their opponents thump'd. 
For, what they could not ca/cA or doTv/, they very neatly siuntpd! 

Chorus— For what, &c. 

Your politicians play a game that varies ev'ry hour ; 
The ins look out, while to get in the outs try all their pow'r ; 
Yet whig or tory, in or out, Welch, English, Irish, Scotch, 
Whene'er they for their country play, have ne'er yet made a botch, 
Hut scorn'd to let the foes of freedom score a single notch ! 

Chorus— But scorn'd, &c. 

Then prosper long our cricketers, and prosper long our QUEF.X ! 
And prosper Alhkrt I and the bond form'd him and her between ! 
And should old foes again oppose our commerce or our fame, 
Old England will in gallant style support her honour'd name ; 
And, any odds 'gainst all the world, she'll fairly win the game ! 
Chorus — And any odds 'gainst all the world, she'll win a glorious 
game ! 

T. DiBDiN, The Sportsman, November 1840. 

A Fragment 

Beloved brotherhood of Sportsmen, heed I 

Earth, ocean, air, combine as ministers 

To pour their treasures forth for our delight. 

While dewy morn, and odorous noon and eve 

Through varied seasons bring their various gifts. 

Autumn, with sounds of thunder through the woods 

And Winter, filling all the hills and dales 

With noise of tramping steeds and mellow horns 

Which bid the sleeping echoes to awake ; 

In Spring voluptuous pantings fill the breast. 

As passing by some hmpid stream we see 

Deep down beneath its surface teeming hosts 

Of glittering forms waiting the angler's skill ; 

Whilst Summer's heat, by some strong impulse, draws 

Our steps to the sea-shore. A boat is there ; 

W"e drink inspiring radiance, as the wind 

Sweeps strongly from the shore, rippling the waves. 

Following our eager souls, we climb on deck. 

And bid the sleeping sails be spread athwart 

The barren mast. Then seated side by side 

We feel the boat speed o'er the tranquil sea. 

Like a white cloud borne by the summer breeze. 

Thus does the shimmering heat of lengthening days 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES- VARIOUS 397 

Likewise entice, by soul-inspiring spell, 

Youths to disport amid the froth-specked waves. 

And their smooth bodies lave within the flood. 

The waters part before the hidden strength 

Of limbs braced by a cool and briny touch, 

As plunging headlong from the neighbouring rock 

Into the deep, the swimmers onward speed. 

Spirit of Sport ! enlivener of our world ! 

Favour my joyous song, for I have loved 

Thee ever, and thee only. I have watched 

Thy changes, and the growing of thy power. 

And my hand ever stretches forth to grasp 

At thy developments. 1 have tried my skill 

Even on tennis courts, where maidens fair 

Keep records of the trophies won from me. 

Hoping to learn the hidden mysteries 

Of thee and thine by forcing some fair maid. 

Thy messenger, to teach me how to check 

My too, too frequent love. In leisure hours. 

When nought attracts me more, have I gone forth 

Like an inspired and desperate Northerner, 

To drive, if it might be, some snow-white orb 

Through the blue vault of heaven ; and have used 

Such magic as compelled my brass topped wand 

To part in twain ; or in some fitful mood 

Have forced my star of hope to take at last 

The comet's orbit, tending oft alas ! 

To some deep unknown pit, from whence I see 

A tail of unilluminating woe. 

I wait thy breath great Spirit I that my skill 

May modulate with method more precise. 

With motions more in harmony with rule ! 

Then, only then, shall I have power to grasp 

The glories of thy all-absorbing sway, 

And weave them into song. 

From MS. No date. A little after the style of P. B. Shelley. 

The Chicken ; or, My First Introduction 
to the Ancient Game of Golf 

{A Trifle aficr ' The Ravar) 

Once upon a day most dreary, I was wandering weak and weary, 
Thinking I had very seldom seen so drear a looking moor ; 
For the stillness was unbroken by a single sign or token, 
That a voice had ever spoken ; when I felt upon my jaw 
Something hit me without warning, nearly breaking through my jaw, 
And from pain I knew no more. 



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398 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Ah, distinctly I remember, that it was a chill November 

When I stood thus watching faintly, divers sparks to Heaven soar ; 

Then two awful men came stealing, while with pain I still was 

reeling. 
Plainly I recall the feeling, as they kept on shouting * Fore ! ' 
But I moved not in my horror, while they still kept shouting ' Fore ! ' 
Feeling pain and nothing more. 




Feeling pain and nothing more 



But fierce danger still was pending, for I still with anguish 

bending 
Heard the sound of ether rending, as an object through it tore. 
And beside me there alighted something that was round and 

whited, 
Looking like a star affrighted, that had shone in days of yore, 
There it lay, a grim and ghastly whitewashed wreck of days of yore. 
Round and white and nothing more. 

Presently my soul grew stronger, hesitating then no longer, 
• Sirs,' said I to these two strangers, * tell me this I do implore, 



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HUMOROUS SONGS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS 399 

By the red coats ye are wearing, by the weapons ye. are bearing, 
Know ye whence these things came tearing — are they meteoric 

ore? 
One has wounded me severely, and seems hard as any ore.' 
But they laughed and nothing more. 

Then, into their faces peering, long I stood there wondering, 

fearing ; 
Fighting frantic fears no mortal ever had to fight before ; 
They had laughed when i had spoken, and I guessed by this same 

token 
Thiey were idiots who had broken, doubtless, through the asylum 

door, 
Idiots who'd escaped from Earlswood, having broken through the 

door. 

This alas ! and nothing more. 

But while I, half bent on flying, still within my mind was trying, 
To think out how them in safety to their home I might restore ; 
One man broke the pause by saying that 'twas * cussed nonsense 

playing 
If fools would continue staying even when they halloed " Fore I " 
Staying mooning on the hazard while four lungs were bellowing 

"Fore!"' 

Then he swore and said no more. 

Now through all my mind came stealing quite a different kind ot 

feeling, 
As I thought I'd heard some speaking of a game like this before ; 
So, by way of explanation, I delivered an oration 
Of a suitable duration, which I think they thought a bore ; 
And I said, * I'll watch your playing,' but they muttered 'Cussed 

bore ! ' 

Just these words and nothing more. 

Then I seemed to see quite plainly, two boys near in clothes un- 
gainly, 
Waiting by us bearing weapons —such a curious, endless store ! 
And I said, * You'll be agreeing that no earthly, living being 
Ever yet was blessed by seeing such queer things as these before ? 
Hooks and crooks of all descriptions such as ne'er were seen before.' 
* Clubs be they, and nothing more.' 

Thus spoke one they called a caddie, though he spoke more like a 

Paddy, 
And I said whilst slowly following, * Tell their names I do implore I ' 
Then these words he seemed to utter in a most uncivil mutter, 
' Driver, cleek, spoon, brassey, putter,' till he reached about a score, 
Muttering thus he still continued, till he reached at least a score. 
Or may be a trifle more. 



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400 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

Soon the boy, when some one halloed, went ahead while till I 

followed. 
Wondering much to see how quickly he across the bracken tore : 
Fiister still he flew and faster to his most unhappy master. 
Who had met with some disaster, which he seemed to much deplore. 
For his ball was in a cart-rut, this alone he did deplore, 
Only this and nothing more. 

Here he cried, * Do try and be quick I don't, you see I want niy 

niblick ? 
Curse these deep and muddy places which one's balls will quite 

immure.' 
Then the mud so fierce did lash he, that his garments soon were 

splashy 
And he called out for his mashie and he very loudly swore, 
Mashing, splashing, did not aid him, nor did all the oaths he swore, 
The ball sank in and nothing more. 

Whilst I was engaged in thinking how deep down the thing was 

sinking. 
Listening to the flow of language that from out his lips did pour ; 
Suddenly he dived and sought it, and from out the mud he 

brought it, 
Tossed it to the boy who caught it, then he counted up his score, 
Said if he at first had tee'd it, he'd have saved quite half his score, 
Now he'd tr)' the hole no more. 

So I thought the game was ended, but their talk was so much 

blended 
With a language unfamiliar which 1 had not heard before ; 
For in argument quite stormy they disputed about * dormie,' 
And the word it clean did floor me, though I thought it deeply o'er. 
Tried to sift its derivation, but while still I thought it o'er 
It perplexed me more and more. 

* Players,' said I, * sure I'm dying just to send that ball a-flying, 
Let me show you how I'd make it up into the heavens soar I ' 
And one answered * Come and try it I we should like to see you 

sky it ! 
Here's a club, six bob will buy it, I have plenty at the store.' 
'Twas the man who teaches golfing, and who keeps clubs in a store, 
Just himself and nothing more. 

Then the other, who was playing, said he did not mind delaying 
Just to see me make a something, of a record of a score. 
So unto the Tee they led me, and of six good bob they bled me, 
And with flattery they fed me, but the ball it would not soar ; 
So they said I must * address ' it, but no language made it soar, 
It just rolled and nothing more. 



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HUMOROUS AND PARODIES— VARIOUS 401 

* Ball,' I said, * thou thing of evil ! Emblem of a slippery devil ! 
White thou seemest, yet I reckon thou art black right to the core ; 
On thy side I see a token of the truth that I have spoken, 
And a gash, that I have broken, shows thee to be whitened o'er ; 
Shows thy true self 'neath the varnish with which thou art covered 
o'er, 

Only black and nothing more ! 

Then with rage I took my driver, smiting at this foul survivor 
Of the devil very fiercely, but the turf, alas, I tore, 
And an awful crash resounding as of splintered timber sounding 
Heard I, as the head went bounding, and my club broke to the 

core ; 
Just a stick I held all broken, broken right across the core. 
But a stick and nothing more. 

And the ball, no thought of flitting, still was sitting, still was sitting. 
Quietly on its little sandheap, just as it had sat of yore ; 
I was greatly aggravated and I very plainly stated 
That the game was overrated, as I've heard men say before ; 
So I'd swore I'd chuck the game up, as some others have before, 
And would play it never more ! 

S. F. OUTWOOD. 




D D 



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INDEX 

OF 

AUTHORS AND COLLECTIONS OF POETRY 



PAOB 

Adamson, William (? -1639), The Muses Threnodie • • . 55 
Amphion(publ. 1868), The Dirge of the Defaulter . . .387 

Angler's Song Book (publ. 1855), Saint Patrick .... 376 
Anon : 

A Fragment . \ ^ ..... . 396 

Elegy in the Kennels j- Copyright - 384 

Heredity . . ) I 377 

Syr Eglamoure of Artoys ....... 34 

The Goff 113 

The Squyr of Low Degre ....... 36 

Armstrong, John (1709- 1 779), Art of Preserving Health . . . 116 

Bai/y s Magazt fie {Copy right ; hy permissiofi of Messrs. Vinton <s^ Co.)-. 

A Dartmoor Fox 228 

Otter-Hunting on the Enne 235 

Spring Hunting ......... 229 

The Dirge of the Defaulter 387 

The Galloping Squire 233 

The Good Grey .Mare ........ 360 

The Lord of the Valley 232 

The Otter King 225 

I) I) 2 

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404 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

PAGE 

Ballads : 

A Hunting Song 169 

A New Hunting Song 181 

A New Fox-hunting Song . . 183 

Away to the Stubbles, away . . 274 

Bonny Beeswing 316 

Cricketing's All the Rage 289 

Going out a Hunting 338- 

Going out a Shooting 379 

Hark Forward's the Cry i6i 

Limerick Races 386 

Poor Old Horse 171 

Poor Old Mike 324 

Princely Diversion 140 

Southerly Wind and a Cloudy Sky 156 

Surry Triumphant 29& 

Syr Eglamoure of Artoys 34 

Tally Ho ! Hark Away 176 

The Death of the Stag 167 

The Dusky Night 161 

The Fox Chase 154 

The Gal way Sportsman 174 

The Game of Cricket 290 

The High-mettled Racer 321 

The Hunting of the Hare 1 5& 

The Jolly Angler 244 

The Jolly Huntsman 169- 

The Killruddery Fox Chace 177 

The King and the Forrester 315 

The Lincolnshire Poacher . . . . . . 318 

The Old English Squire 204 

The Squyr of Lowe Degre 3^ 

The White Hare 163 

Three Jovial Huntsmen 155 

When Bucks a Hunting go 161 

Baxter, Nathaniel (publ. 1606), Ourania 44 

Bayly, Thomas H. (1797-1839), Don't talk of September . . 381 

Beaumont, Francis (1584-1616), Beggars Bush . . . . . 62 
Bloomfield, Robert (1766-1823), The Dawning of Day . . .212 
Boke of St. Albans (publ. i486) : 

A Good Dog*s Points 19 

Beasts of Sport 19 

Brandreth, Henry (publ. 1833), Away ! to the Woodlands Away ! . 281 



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INDEX OF AUTHORS 405 

I'AGE 

Brooke, Henry (1 703- 1 783), The Fox Chase 114 

Browne, William (1 59 1- 1 643?), Britannia's Pastorals ... 54 

Bryant, William CuUen (1794-1878), The Hunter's Legend . . 218 

Bunyan, John (1 628-1688), Groping Trout 250 

BUrger, G. A., The Chase (trans, by Sir Walter Scott) . . 186 
Burns, Robert (1759-1796) : 

A Wounded Hare 276 

My Heart's in the Highlands i8o 

Byron, George, Lord (i 788-1824) : 

Don Juan 132 

The Deformed Transformed 133 

The Two Foscari . . . . . . . . . 132 

Caledonian, 7)4^ (publ. 182 1), Jolly Curlers 326 

Campbell, Major Calder : 

A Song for the Sportsman 334 

Otters 220 

Chatto, William Andrew (1799-1864), The Fisher's Call . . . 256 

Chaucer, Geffray (1340?- 1400) : 

The Boke of the Duchesse 30 

Prologue to the Canterbury Pilgrims 33 

The Knyghtes Tale 33 

Chettle, Henry ( ? -1607 ?) : 

Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington 270 

The Pleasant Comodie of Patient Grisill 43 

Combe, William (1741-1823), Tour of Dr. Syntax . . . . 340 

Comic Songster (publ. 1783), The Goddess of the Chace . .185 

Complete Gamester (publ. 1680), Rules of Billiards . . . 310 

Cowper, William (1731-1800), Epitaph 277 

Crampton Ballads : 

Fox Chase 154 

Limerick Races 386 

Southerly Wind and a Cloudy Sky 156 

Dance. See Love 

D'Avenant, Sir William (1606- 1668), Gondibert . . . . 65 

Decker, Thomas (1 570?- 1 64 1?), The Sun's- Darling ... 63 

Denham, John (1615-1669), Coopers Hill 71 

Dennys, John ( ? -1609), The Secrets of Angling .241 

Dibdin, Charles (1745-1814), The Skaiter's March . . . . 322 
Dibdin, Thos. (1771-1841) : 

Cricket 395 

The Double Barrel 382 

The Sporting Philosopher 393 



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4o6 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



FACE 



Doubleday, Thomas (1790- 1870) : 

Auld and Young 258 

The Morning Airly 259 

Drayton, Michael (1563-1631) : 

Polyolbion 57 

Muses Elizium 59 

Dr}'den, John (1631-17CX)) : 

Epistle 81 

The Secular Masque 169 

England's Helicon (publ. 1614), The Passionate Fisher . . . 239 

Feist, Charles (publ. 1836), The Chase ! The Chase ! . . .217 

Fishing and Shooting (publ. 1720), The Tennis Court . . . 317 

Fletcher, John (1579-1625), Beggars' Bush 62 

Fletcher, Phineas( 1 582- 1650), Brittain's Ida 62 

Ford, John (1586-1640?) : 

Perkin Warbeck 63 

Sun's-Darling 63 

Freeth, John (publ. 1790) : 

Diversion of Quoit Playing . . . . .318 

Ciame of Fives .......... 320 

Gascoigne, George (1525?-! 577), The Arte of Venerie ... 37 
Gay, John (1685-1732) : 

Rural Sports 97 

The Hound and the Huntsman 106 

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang (1749-1832), The Angler . . . . 253 

Gower, John (1325-1408), Confessio AmantLS .... 29 

Graves, John Woodcock (1795- 1890), John Peel . . . 199 

Green, Matthew (1696-1737), The Spleen 107 

Grey, Sandie (publ. 1841), Song of the Old English Falconer . . 336 
(irylls, James Willyam, The Song of the Hunter . . . .221 

Hamilton, William (1704- 17 54), Bonny Heck 311 

Harington, Sir John (1561-1612), Orlando Furioso ... 42 
Hawke, Hon. Martin (publ. 1840) : 

The Criterion Coach 332 

Epitome of the Seasons ........ 334 

Heber, Bishop Reginald (1 783-1826), Hunting Song. . . 206 

Heraans, Felicia (1793- 1835), The Angler 253 

Hogg, James (1770 ?- 1835), Madoc of the Moor . . . . 206 



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INDEX OF AUTHORS 407 

FACE 

Hood, Tom (1799-1845) : 

Epping Hunt 344 

Sonnet to Lord Wharncliffe 383 

Howard. See Surrey 

Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784), Verses on Skating . . . 117 

Jonson, Ben (1573-1637) : 

Cynthia's Revells 1 52 

Pans Anniversarie 1 52 

The Forrest 54 

Time Vindicated 54 

Kingsley, Charles (i 819- 1875) K^opy^ght ; by permission of Messrs. 
Mac m Ulan ^ Co,) \ 

Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorr^e 337 

My Hunting Song ......... 224 

South Wind 260 

The Find 224 

Knowles, James Sheridan (1784-1862), The Love Chase • ^35 

Langland, William (1 330?- 1400?), Vision of Piers Plowman . . 21 
Leyden, John (1775-1811) : 

Birds in Scotland 279 

Invisible Deer Hunting 197 

Llewellyn, Martin (1616-1682) : 

Men Miracles 243, 310 

Love, James, n^ Dance (1722- 1774), Cricket 291 

Lovelace, Richard (1618-1658), The Falcon 73 

Lydgate, John (1370 ?- 1 45 1?), Satirical Description . . . 20 

Maidment, James (1795?- 1879), A Book of Scottish Pasquils (publ. 

1868) 147 

Marston, John (1575 ?- 1634), Satyres 25 

Masque, The (publ. 1768), Song 175 

Mickle, William J. (1 735-1 788), Sir Martyn 250 

Moore, Thomas (1779- 1852) : 

Cephalus and Procris 287 

Wind thy Horn 221 

Motherwell, William (i 797- 1835), The Forester's Carol . .281 

Munday, Anthony (1553- 1633) : 

Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington 270 

Metropolis Coronata 270 



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4o8 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



PAGE 



A'ht/ .S]^r/iw^ A/iz^az/w^, The First Day of the Season . .213 

Outwood, S. F. (Copyright) : 

Au Revoir 373 

Bolts 363 

Bookey 390 

Great Guns 365 

Jorrocks 367 

The Chicken 397 

The 'Unt 362 

The Young British Sportsman 371 

Pamell, Dr. Thomas (1 679- 17 18), Health . .... 82 

Peacock, Thomas Love (1785-1866), Maid Marian's Song . . . 209 

Piscator (publ. 1819), Trout Hall 251 

Pope, Alexander (1 688-1 744), Windsor Forest 95 

Prior, Matthew (1664- 1 72 1), Henry and Emma .... 83 
Pye, Henry James (1745-1813): 

An Elegy 275 

Farringdon Hill 121 

Quarles, Francis (1592-1644) : 

Divine Fancies • • . 63 

Emblemes 64 

Ralegh, Sir Walter (1552-1618), The Country's Recreations . . 238 

Ramsay, Allan (1686-1758) : 

Health 96 

Royal Company of Archers 272 

Randolph, Thomas (1605-1635) : 

Annalia Dubrensia 68 

Ode to Mr. Anthony Stafford 69 

Ravenscroft, Thomas (1592 ?-i635 ?) : 

A Hunts up 151 

Country Pastimes 307 

Hawking for the Partridge ....... 306 

Ring-Ouzel : 

A Dartmoor Fox 228 

Otter-Hunting on the Erme 235 

Spring Hunting ......... 229 

Roxburghe Ballads : 

A New Fox-hunting Song 183 

A New Hunting Song 181 



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INDEX OF AUTHORS 409 

PACE 

Roxburghe Ballads : 

Princely Diversion 164 

The Hunting of the Hare 158 

The King .and the Forrester 3^3 



Scott, Sir Walter (1771-1832) : 

Hunting Song I93 

Lady of the Lake 123,197 

Marmion 128 

TheChace 186 

The Death of Keeldar I94 

Sedley, Sir Chailes (1639-1701), Song A-la-mode . . .316 

Shakspere, William (i 564-1616) : 

Antony and Cleopatra . 48 

As You Like It 45 

Henry VI 47 

Julius Caesar 48 

Love's Labour Lost 49 

Midsummer Night's Dream 47 

Taming of the Shrew 46 

Tempest 48 

Venus and Adonis 49 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792- 1822), CEdipus Tyrannus . -134 

Ship of Fools (publ. 1508) 147 

Shirley, James (1 594?- 1 666), Hide Parke . -70,309 

Sill, George G. (publ. 1840), Hawking 331 

Somervile, William (1677-1743) i 

Hunting Song 179 

TheChace 84 

Songs of the Chace (publ. 181 1) : 

Boy in Yellow 323 

Hunting, Love, and Wine 198 

Spenser, Edmund (1553 ?-i599) - 

Astrophel . 40 

Faerie Queene 24, 41 

Mother Hubberd's Tale 40 

Sonnet 39 

Visions of Petrarch . • • 39 

Sporting Magazine : 

Epigram on Archery 278 

Hunting Song 172 

Oh won't you let me go, Papa ? 215 



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4IO THE POETRY OF SPORT 

PAGE 

Sporting Magazine : 

Snipe Shooting ......... 278 

Some Love to Ride 359 

Song to the New Year 358 

Song of the Old English Falconer 336 

Steeple Chases 327 

The Chase ! The Chase ! 217 

The Criterion Coach 332 

The First of September 282 

The Grouse-shooter's Call • 283 

The Highland Moors ... .... 285 

The Joys of Sporting 210 

The Laws of the Road 392 

The Skaiter's March 322 

To Ride or not to Ride ? 392 

Sporting Review : 

Epitome of the Seasons 334 

Sportsmofi : 

A Song for the Sportsman 334 

Away ! to the Woodlands Away ! 28 1 

Cricket 395 

Don't talk of September 381 

Hawking 331 

My Old Horn 215 

Otters 220 

The Double Barrel 382 

The Hunter's legend 218 

The Jolly Old Squire 219 

The Sporting Philosopher ........ 393 

T/ie Sportsmati's Vocal Cabinet (publ. 1830) : 

Calm the Winds ......... 201 

Hunting Song ......*... 199 

Otter Hunting ......... 202 

Pigeon Shooting 327 

Tally Ho 201 

The Bowman's Song ......... 279 

Stirling, William Alexander, Earl of (1 580-1640) Doomesday , 56 
Stoddart, Thomas Tod (1810-1880) (C(?/^r/;f//^; by permission of 
Miss Stoddart) : 

A Peck o' Troubles 266 

My Fisher Lad 265 

Our Choice 264 



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INDEX OF AUTHORS 411 

PAGE 

Stoddart, Thomas Tod : 

Sonnet 260, 264 

The Angler's Grave ........ 269 

The Eden 269 

The Heron-Lake 268 

The Pirate of the Lakes 263 

The Taking of the Salmon 261 

Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of (1517-1547), Songesand Sonettes . 23 

Sweet Polly's Garland, The Hunting Song 163 

Syr Eglamoure of Artoys (publ. 1570) 34 

The Goff(publ. 1743) 113 

The Man of Ton (publ. 1828), • . .' 325 

The Squyr of Lowe Degre (publ. 1550) 36 

The Wisbech Cock Fight (publ. 1660) 76 

Thompson, William (?-i736), An Hymn to May . . . . 251 
Thompson, William Gill (publ. 1838), Summer Rambles . .256 

Thomson, James (1 700- 1 748), The Seasons 108 

Tickell, Thomas (1686-1740), Hunting 118 

Turbervile, George (1530?- 1594) : 

Epitaphs 24 

The Huntsman's Blazon 38 

Vaughan, Henr}- (1621-1695), On the Present of a Sahnon . . 248 

Waller, Edmund (1605-1687), On the Head of a Stag . -153 

Walton, Izaak (1 593- 1683), The Angler's Song . . . . 247 
Warburton, R. E. Egerton (1804-1891) : 

Hawkstone Bow- Meeting . 284 

Song 358 

The Dead Hunter 214 

The Little Red Rover 213 

The Tanti\7 Trot 329 

Warton, Thomas (1 728-1790), Sonnet on Bathing . . 322 

Watson, Thomas ( ? -1592 ?), Tears of Fancie . ... 43 

Watts, W. (publ. 1836), Trolling 254 

Westminster Drollery (publ. 1671) 146 

Whitney, John (publ. 1700) The Genteel Recreation . -77 

Whittaker, John (1 735-1808) History of Manchester .120 

Whyte-MelviUe, G. J. (1821-1878) : 

The Galloping Squire ........ 233 

The Good Grey Mare 360 

The Lord of the Valley 232 



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412 THE POETRY OF SPORT 



PAGE 



Wilson, Professor John (i 785-1854), Address to a Wild Deer . . 222 

Wordsworth, William (i 770- 1830) : 

The Excursion 130 

The Prelude 131 

Wotton, Sir Henry (l 568-1639), Fishing 246 

Wyatt, Sir Thomas (1 503-1 542), Sonet 151 



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INDEX OF FIRST LINES 



PAGE 

A birr ! a whirr ! a salmon's on ...... . 261 

A blessed lot is yours 130 

A grehounde shulde be heded like a snake . . .19 

A hunter once in that grove reclined 287 

A monk ther was, fair for the maistre 33 

About fifty years ago when old George the third was King . . . 204 

Accept the Salmon that with this I send 248 

Again the Year returns the Day 272 

Alas, alas, quo* bonny Heck . . . . . . . • 311 

All were like Hunters clad in cheerfull green 65 

And as I lay thus, wonder lowde . 30 

And as the hound that men the tumbler name 42 

And in the frosty season, when the sun . . . . . • 131 

And lothefull idlenes he doth detest 40 

And now all Nature seem*d in Love ...... 246 

And yee my clubs, you must no more prepare 55 

Anglers ! ye are a heartless, bloody race ..... 269 

Are you ready for your steeplechase ....... 337 

As God hJfhselfe declares, the life of man was lent . -37 

As hagard hauke presuming to contend . . . . . . 41 

As inward love breeds outward talk 247 

As quick as thought, there see approach 332 

As when a Greyhound (of the rightest straine) • • • • 55 

Away, away, to the woods with me 336 

Back to its icy cave again ........ 229 

Behold, my friend I the rosy-finger'd morn 179 



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414 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



Being one day at my window all alone 
Beleeve me Lxjrds, for flying at the Brooke 
Beloved brotherhood of Sportsmen, heed ! . 
Both of howndes and hawkes game 
Bright blazed the fire of crackling wood . 
But active Hilaris much rather loves 
But can you waft across the British tide 
But the hound bayeth loudly . 
By this she heares the hounds are at a bay*. 



39 

47 
396 

20 
251 

96 
120 

133 

52 



Calm the winds, the distant ocean 

Cocke a doodle-doe, 'tis the bravest game . 

Come all you Foxhunters wherever you be 

Come all you jolly sportsmen of high and low degree 

Come, country Goddess, come ; nor thou suffice 

Come, I'll show you a country that none can surpass 

Come, jump into your saddles, boys 

Come listen all you sportsmen gay . 

Come live with me, and be my deere 

Come Mu^es all that dwell nigh the fountaine 

Come New Year, and bring with thee . 

Come, shall we goe and kill us venison ? . 

Come ! where the heather bell .... 

Comrades, leave me here a little 



201 

310 

181 

316 

82 

233 
228 
172 
239 
309 
358 
45 
283 
387 



Diana and her nimphs in silvane brooke 
Don't talk of September ! — a lady 
Durham City has been dull so long 
D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gray ? 



Earl Walter wfnds his bugle horn . 

Ere since of old, the haughty thanes of Ross 

Fair Princesse of the spacious Air 

Farewell to the Dane and the Weaver ! . 

First to the north direct your roving eyes . 

For hark ! hark ! hark ! the dog doth bark 

For ray profession then, and for the life I lead . 

For once, upon a Rawe and Gustie day . 

For these nocturnal Thieves, Huntsman, prepare 

Forward I Hark forward's the cry ! 

Foure maner bestys of venery there are 



43 
381 
289 
199 

1S6 
197 

n 
284 
121 
209 
59 
48 

224 

«9 



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INDEX OF FIRST LINES 



415 



Gaily rock the lily beds .... 

(jay companions of the bower , 

Gi'e me ma gaud, ma guid auld gaud 

Give me mine Angle, weele to ih' River there 

Give round the word — * Dismount ! dismount I 

God prosper long our harvest work . 

Goe one of you, finde out the Forrester . 

Goff, and the Man, I sing, who, em'lous, plies 

Good ev'n my honest friends .... 

Good friends I pray you list to me . 

Great John at all adventure and grave Jockey 



Hark, hark, jolly sportsmen, awhile to my tale . 
Hark ! hark ! the joy-inspiring horn 
Hark forward ! away, my brave boys, to the chase 
Haste, ranger, to the Athol mountains blue ! . 

He jure postliminii did transub 

He tolde me and my maydens' hende 

* Here, in my shade,' methinks he*d say . 

Here lies one, who never drew .... 

Here's to the old ones, of four-in-hand fame 

Here's your right ground : Wagge gently ore this Black 

Here the rude clamour of the sportsman's joy . 

High on the downs the awful ring is made 

His joy was not in musiques sweete delight 

His sire from the desert, his dam from the north 

Horses and hounds, their care, their various race 

How are we park'd and bounded in a pale ? . 

How many a time have I 

How sweet is the horn that sounds in the morn 
Hunters are fretting, and hacks in a lather 

Hunting I reckon very good 

Huntsman I charge thee, tender wel my hounds 
Huntsman, rest ! thy chase is done 
Hurrah ! once again for September ! . 



263 

279 
266 

48 
185 
298 

47 
113 

62 

70 

177 
175 
162 
206 
147 
34 
128 
277 

329 

64 

109 

325 
62 

214 
118 

47 
132 
161 
232 
107 

46 
197 
274 



I am a simple Irish lad, I've resolv'd to have some fun, sirs 

I am the Hunle, whiche rathe and earely ryse . 

I knew it should not misse ...... 

I lo'e my ain wee fisher-boy 

I'm fond of partridges, I'm fond of snipes 

I've a head like a violin-case ; I've a jaw like a piece of steel 

I was reared in Doncaster some forty years ago 



38s 

63 
26s 

383 
363 
324 



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4i6 THE POETRY OF SPORT 

PACK 

I went towards the Members' stand, my patrons to be near . . 390 

If haply thou to Lethe's shore 235 

Impertinence at first is bom . . . . . . 106 

In autumne, at the Partrich makes a slight . . ' • • 54 

In every sport, I wished by all 393 

In wrestling nimble, and in renning swift 40 

Inhuman man ! curse on thy barb'rous art 276 

Into the Pit they're brought, and being there 76 

It is a sylvan scene I A mountain lake 22a 

It's late, my Lad, to tak* the Gad 259 

It's Mayday this ; the wale o' days 25S 

It's near Maxfield town bo3rs as I heard them tell .... 163 

It was on the first of March, in the year of thirty-three . . 176 

John Huggins was as bold a man 344 

Last Evening Lad, I met a noble Swayne 68 

Let us our steps direct where Father Thames 251 

Loiterer, rise ! the mom hath kept 282 

Loke you so Strang my hiarts, to see our limbes . . . -43 

Look, look ! brother Bob, to the meadows below . . . . 202 
Looke when a Painter would surpasse the life . . -51 

Lusty Hearts ! to the wood 281 

Lyke as a huntsman after weary chace . . • • • 39 

Man is a Tenis-court : His Flesh, the Wall 63 

Mankind will their favourite pleasures pursue 318 

My hawk is tired of perch and hood 128 

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here . .180 

My name's John Bull ; I am a famous hunter 134 

Nay my good Lord, let me ore- rule you now 49 

No doubt, St. Patrick was an Angler . . . . . . 376 

Now as an Angler melancholy standing ...... 54 

Now Jorrocks went to sleep one night 367 

Now wend we together, my merry men all 270 

Now when the first foul Torrent of the Brooks 108 

Now winding, wandering pensively 225 

O blessed drums of Aldershot ! 260 

O let me rather on the pleasant Brinke 241 

O the jolly angler's life is the best of any 244 

O'er crackling ice, o'er gulphs profound 117 

O'er the Desert, cross the Meadows 315 



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INDEX OF FIRST LINES 417 

PACK 

Of a' the games that e'er I saw 326 

Of all delights that Earth doth yeekl 158 

Of all the Beasts which we for our veneriaU name . . -57 

Of huntyng she beryth the greet pryse 20 

Of Pan we sing, the best of singers Pan 152 

Oh ! once I believed in a woman's kiss 360 

Oh, won't you let me go, papa ? 215 

Once upon a day most dreary, I was wandering weak and weary 397 

One Labour yet remains, celestial Maid ! 92 

One Valentine's Day in the Morning 140 

Or, when atop the hoary western hill 250 

Ours is the skie .......... 69 

Queene and Huntresse, chaste, and faire 152 

Quivering fears, Heart- tearing cares 238 

Say, what is wealth without delight 198 

Scorning the thickest of cover, scorning the closest of gorse . . 365 

See seated round the winter's fire 199 

See the course throng'd with gazers 321 

Sir he may live .......... 48 

Sith Sickles and the sheering Sythe, hath shornc the Feiids of late . 306 
So we some antique Hero's strength . . •••153 

Some friends of mine for mirth and glee 379 

Some love to ride o'er the foaming tide 359 

Sorrow, sorrow, bring it green ! 269 

Southerly wind and a cloudy sky . . . . ... 156 

Sprightly Sons of manly Sport ........ 320 

Stags in the forest lie, hares in the valley — O ! . . . . 358 

Stand back, my friends, our first attempt be here . 254 

Take two stronge men and in Temes cast hem . . . . 21 

The breeze is on the Heron-lake ....... 268 

The Chase ! the Chase ! the glorious Chase I 217 

The chearful morn beams o'er the hills 116 

The craftie Foxe which Numbers doth deceave 56 

The days of palmy Chivalry are o'er 327 

The destenye and the mynister generall 33 

The dewdrop is clinging . . . .213 

The dusky night rides down the sky . . . . i6i 

The fellow -anglers of my youthful days 264 

The grey eye of morning was dear to my youth 212 

The harmles hunter, with a ventrous eye 25 

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4i8 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



The Highland Moors I the Highland Moors ! 
The Horn sonorous calls ; the Pack awak'd 

The hounds arc all out 

The hunt is up, sing merrily wee .... 

The lakes and mountains swarm with copious game 

The Laws of the Road are a paradox quite 

The Leading-ball the upper end mayn't hit 

The leaves o'er the lea are careering 

The mellow Autumn came, and with it came 

The moor-cock is crowing .... 

The op'ning morn disi>els the night . 

The rising mist foretells the opening day 

The rudiments of sciences 

The senting Houndes pursude 

The Squire, the old Squire, is gone to his rest 

The 'Squire with half-smok\l pipe in hand . 

The Stag at eve had drunk his fill 

The sturdie plowmen lustie, strong and bold . 

The Sun from the East tips the Mountains with Clohl 

The sun has just j^ep'd his head o'er the hills 

The toils are pitched, and the stakes are set 

The world is amazingly full of deceit 

Then sometime in a dusky evening late 

There Faunus and Sylvanus keepe their Courts 

There is a spirit in the chase .... 

There was a gentle Angler .... 

There were three jovial huntsmen 

There were three Ravens sat on a tree . 

There's a feel in the air, and a look of don't care 

There's no rural sport surpasses 

This Acceon, as he wcl myght .... 

This snell and frosty morning 

Thomson ! this quiet stream, the song of thought 

Thou hadst bin gone (quoth she) sweet boy ere this 

Thou that hast loved so long and well 

Though toil hath somewhat worn thy frame 

Thro' the castle gates first ride they forth . 

Thus all (uir life long we are fnjlick and gay 

Thy bold antlers call cm the hunter afar 

'Tis come !- - 'tis come my gallant steed 

'Tis pleasant now, when sunlight fills 

To live a life, free from gout, pain, and j)hthisic 

To ride «»r not to ride ? that is the question 



PAGE 

285 

84 

169 

281 
256 
384 

394 

24 

219 

340 
"23 
147 
163 
154 
127 
201 
77 
71 
210 

253 
155 
307 

ni 
327 

29 
322 
269 

49 
253 
215 

331 
146 
222 

213 
256 
290 
392 



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INDEX OF FIRST LINES 



419 



To morowe ye shall on hunting fare 

Treat children's sport with laughter 

Turne— Hunters then agen .... 

Two Grey-hounds, swift and white as whitest snow 

Up rose the sun, o'er moor and mead 

Upon a rock that high and sheer .... 



Wake ! wake ! wake to the hunting ! 

Waken, lords and ladies gay .... 

We are off once more!— for the summer's o'er 

Weepe, weepe, ye wod-men, waile 

What shall he have that kild the Deare ? . 

When as the hand at Tennis plays . 

When dark December glooms the day 

When Emma hunts, in huntsman's habit dresl 

When first I strove to win the prize . 

When gelid frosts encrust the faded ground 

When I was a young horse .... 

When I was bound apprentice in fair Lincolnshire 

When late the trees were strippt by winter pale . 

When round the Sportsman's festive board 

When summer bids us seek the shade 

When the rosy dawn just breaketh 

When the s|K)rting young cockney comes out for a 

When the still night withdrew her sable shroud 

Where torrents foam . . . . 

While fair Thalestris pois'd the shaft 

While others soaring on a lofty Wing 

Whilst Rockingham was heard with these' Reports to ring 

Who, so list to hount, I knowe where is an hynde 

Wind thy horn, my hunter boy 

Winde, jollie Hunts-men your neat Bugles shrilly . 
With crowds attended of your ancient race 
With early horn salute the morn .... 
With Horns and with Hounds, I waken the Day . 
With silver droppes the meade yet spred for ruth 
Worthy .«jir, souls attract souls ..... 
Wot makes the 'untsman's 'eart to l)eat 



ride 



Ye hardy sons of Chace give ear .... 
Ye vig'rous Swains ! while youth ferments your blood 
Yon sound's neither sheep-l)ell nor bark 



PACK 

36 

377 

54 

44 

194 
218 

206 

193 

221 

270 

46 

317 
129 

83 
323 
278 

171 
318 
322 
382 
334 
334 
371 
275 
264 
278 
291 
57 
151 
221 

63 
81 
169 
169 
23 
135 
362 

183 
95 



224 

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420 



THE POETRY OF SPORT 



PAGE 

You ask a song, and 'twould be wrong to disappoint your call . . 395 
You county Gal way men, Hibernia's noble kin . . .174 

You see the ways the Fisher-man doth take ..... 250 

You subjects of England, come listen a while . * . • 313 

You that fish for Dace and Roches ....... 243 

You, who the Sweets of Rural Life have known . * • 97 

Young Marcus with the lark salutes the morn . - • . . . 114 



PRINTED ftV 
STOTTISWOODK AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE 



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